I was raised in Pennsylvania when it was the top state in the country for deer hunting with about 1.25 million hunters. In those days about 350,000 or more bucks were harvested each season. Within that deer hunting culture there was no such thing as deer management or waiting for a bigger buck. It took a three inch spike to be legal and most of the deer harvested each year were yearlings with spikes or perhaps 3 or 4 points. Back then, any buck was a good buck!
Understanding the norm, you can perhaps appreciate the significance of locating a heavy, wide 9-pointer? I would watch this buck come down off of the mountain to graze in the neighbors soybeans and alfalfa in the valley below. I was a young bowhunter and was so excited for the archery opener to arrive so I could hunt this “giant” buck I had spent months scouting and patterning.
The first day of the season finally arrived. I had been practicing all summer and I was ready. Perched in a homemade stand perfectly located high up on the side of the ridge, ten minutes after shooting light he came into view. Five minutes later he was twenty yards below my stand. As my arrow shot right over his back he ran up the ridge right beside my position. I drew back and shot again, and again my arrow sailed over his back. He walked a little further and stopped. Trembling, I aimed the very best a could, but my third shot missed him again.
In my frustration I sat there in my treestand for a long time. I had done everything right, I had figured out the morning route of the big buck climbing up the ridge. My treestand was in the perfect place. And I had missed him three times! I was mad at myself for not taking advantage of the opportunity I was given.
Today, many years later I recall that morning, not as the day I missed three times, but as the day I determined to become a better archery shot. In truth, missing that deer changed my life forever. I didn’t know it then but missing that deer was an amazing blessing.
You see, I started to visit the local indoor range and practiced incessantly. I was determined to shoot better so I would never miss again. The more I practiced, the better I got. As I got better, I got noticed by my fellow archers. My next step saw me shooting league tournaments, then I started winning these tournaments. I then went to the state championships to compete and set records. In the 12 years I shot professionally I won hundreds of tournaments earning state, national and world titles. From the notoriety I received from shooting and winning, several career opportunities in the hunting industry became available to me. Eventually, my wife and three daughters moved with me from Pennsylvania to Minnesota to begin a new career with a little company named Robinson Laboratories. Later, I would have an opportunity to acquire the company and to build a brand that is recognized by bowhunters around the world. God has provided an opportunity to proclaim Him through our company, our communications and our product messaging…..all of that, as a result of missing the deer I wanted more than anything, at that moment.
There are many stories in the Bible where God caused a chain of events to occur to eventually, perhaps many years later, fulfill His divine plan. So it is in our own lives, God has a plan for us. The circumstances and events that occur are often failures, defeats and painful challenges that leave us feeling dejected and beaten down. But later, after God’s plan has fulfilled its purpose, the pain and frustrations were actually used to become His blessings…we just didn’t know it at the time.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”
Another favorite verse of mine is John 16:33, “These things I have told you so you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!”
Can you see how beautifully God causes all the circumstances of our lives, even though they may be difficult at times, to work out for good, if we love Him and live our lives for Him?
We all have experienced tough stuff in our lives, perhaps even now. We live in a dark and sinful world, where trouble abounds. But despite this, God is in control and He uses all the different events and happenings we experience to ultimately serve His plan and purpose for each of us.
Next time we experience a difficult situation or something bad happens, perhaps we should rejoice in the blessing, and then watch God work in our lives?
God loves us. He is in control. He has a wonderful plan for our lives if we will trust Him!
And for more also go to: Nothing Gets You Closer
For more please go to: Wild at Heart