Have you ever sat outside before sunrise and listened to the world wake up?
It is glorious, especially in the spring when all the birds are back from their southern migration. It is a symphony of chirps and whistles with the occasional bellow of a turkey. There is nothing quite like it. It is a spiritual experience.
If you are a hunter you know what I am talking about. I have spent countless hours sitting quietly in nature watching God’s creation. We can learn a lot from the world around us if we only take the time. Job 12:7-8 states, “Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. “ In this passage Job is talking about wisdom. Nature abounds with the wisdom of God.
Hunting gives us something that most other activities do not – quiet. You are able to cut out all the distractions that modern human life throws at you. You are left alone with your thoughts. You can pray without interruption. I have sorted out many of life’s problems in a tree stand. It was just me and God sorting things out. The woods have become one of the places where I feel closest to God.
His creation declares His glory. I have seen amazing things in the woods. I have seen two whitetails sparring, a coopers hawk make an amazing snatch and grab a squirrel, a great horned owl land ten feet from me, and many other natural events that most people never see. And it is not just the animals, a sunrise over a duck swamp, the Appalachian Mountains in fall, or a fresh snow clinging to the trees that will take your breath away. These are just drops of rain in the downpour that is the beauty of all He has made. By watching nature, we see only a glimpse of His unending, unfathomable creative power. The complexity and beauty of His creation is on display for everyone to see.
Romans 1:20 (Amplified) says, “ For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense.”
So when I walk through the woods or sit in my tree stand, I make a conscience effort to seek God. He created the perfect temple in which to worship. He created nature as His witness. And He created it for us.
It reminds me of the old hymn How Great Thou Art. The second verse goes:
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.