Oct
22

Telling Stories by Randy Rowley 10/19/12 ©

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On a chilly Saturday in mid-March, five friends, two relatives, and I headed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for an FCS weekend self-guided hog hunt.  We set up camp, baited the stands we planned to hunt, cooked, ate dinner, and headed to the stands.

Tim Price hunted his stands with his two sons – Isaac and Tyler.  Jesse Price and Jim Gault hunted solo in different stands, and I hunted solo in my stand.  My brother-in-law, Roy Brigman, and his son, Leroy, hunted an elevated stand in a hayfield overlooking a feeder at the edge of the woods.  As the stand was only made for one, Roy sat in it while Leroy sat in a chair underneath it.  But when it got dark, Roy joined Leroy underneath it.

Leroy held a spotlight while Roy held a Ruger Model 77 in .270.  A few minutes after dark, the Brigman’s heard the sound of several large animals running through the woods about 75 yards north of the feeder.  Leroy shined the light and soon illuminated several hogs.  Roy picked out one and nailed it – a nice sow weighing about 125 lbs.  They said they saw a much larger hog, but Roy couldn’t get a shot at it.

Over the years since then, Roy has retold that story several times.  However, every time the story changes a little bit.  The sow gains 50 lbs. with each telling, its tusks grow a half-inch, and it changes sex.  She’s now a 575 lb. boar with five-inch long tusks!  Roy does this to get a rise out of me.  Although Roy doesn’t suffer from the disease called embellishment, many hunters and fishermen do – and those tall tales get taller with each telling.

Someone made the galaxies, stars, planets, continents, mountains, canyons, valleys, caves, deserts, tundra, ice fields, oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, herds of deer, flocks of geese, and schools of bass.  That someone is God, and he knows all his creation by name and created it for his pleasure.  God tells his story in the wonder of the stars, the magnificence of the mountains, the splendor of the oceans, the tranquility of the forests, the beauty of a wood duck, the strength of a buck, the wariness of a turkey, the speed of a dove, and the power of a redfish.  His story is more majestic with each telling.  There’s no need for him to embellish.

All we have to do is be quiet and still, and we’ll see the majesty of his creation all around us.  We’ll see his story everywhere we look.  Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Abraham Lincoln said, “I never behold the stars that I do not feel I am looking into the face of God.  I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

God not only created the stars, but he also named them!  Psalm 147:4 (NLT) says, “He counts the stars and calls them all by name.”

When I hunt for hogs at night, I sometimes have trouble staying awake.  Sometimes to help stay awake, I’ll try to count the stars I can see.  I usually lose count before I reach 100, and that’s just a tiny smidgen of the stars I can see.  And God knows all the stars I can see and trillions more by name!

Scientists think there’re between 10 to the 22nd to 10 to the 24th stars in the universe (10 followed by 22 to 24 zeros).  (It’s impossible to know how many stars there are as the Creator is still busy making new ones!)  And he knows them all by name – that’s completely mind-boggling!  Although stars are magnificent and God truly cares for them, think about how much more he loves and cares for us – his greatest creation!

God loves us more than anything else he created.  Ephesians 2:10a (NLT) says, “For we are God’s masterpiece.”  Jesus said in John 3:16 (NLT), “‘For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.’”  (“The world” is the people of the world.)  God didn’t send his only son to earth to die a horrible death on a cross so the stars, trees, or birds will have eternal life – he sent Jesus to die to take the punishment for our sins and to offer us redemption through faith in Jesus and eternal life.  That’s amazing love!

God also tells the story of his glory.  Psalm 19:1b says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands,” Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth,” and Isaiah 6:3 says, “And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’”  (“They were calling to one another” were seraphs – the caretakers of God’s throne.)

Revelation 4:9-11 (NLT) says, “Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever).  And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power.  For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.’”  Like those elders, we too should praise God for his awesomeness and creation.

The next time you go hunting or fishing, set aside some quiet time alone to reflect on God’s creation and how much he loves you.  I think you’ll conclude his creation is magnificent, he loves you very much, and he is awesome and worthy of your praise!  And that’s no tall tale!

Roy

Categories : Devotionals

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