Telling Stories by Randy Rowley 10/19/12 ©


On a chilly Saturday in mid-March, five friends, two relatives, and I headed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for an FCS weekend hog hunt.  We set up camp, baited the stands we decided 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 that overlooked a feeder on the edge of the woods.  As the stand was only made for one, Roy sat in it while Leroy sat in a chair underneath the stand.  But when it got dark, Roy joined Leroy underneath it.

Leroy held a spotlight while Roy held a Ruger Model 77 bolt action chambered in .270.  A few minutes after dark, the Brigman’s heard several 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 that hunt, 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, not because he’s a compulsive liar.)

Many hunters and fishermen have a disease called embellishment – and those tall tales get taller with each telling.

God also tells a story – 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.)

God tells his story in the wonder of the stars, the magnificence of the mountains, the splendor of the oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers, 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 teal, and the power of a redfish.  His story is more majestic with each telling.  There is no need for him to embellish.

All that 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.”  Mr. Lincoln was spot on!

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 that I can see.  I usually lose count before I reach 100, and that’s just a small smidgen of the stars that I can see.  And God knows all the stars that I can see and trillions more by name!

Scientists think there are 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 God 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 cares for mankind – his greatest creation!  Jesus said, “‘Look at the birds.  They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?’”  (Matthew 6:26.)

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.’”

Someone made all of this – the mountains and forests, the bays and seas, the lakes and rivers, the great deserts, and the frozen tundra.  The herds of deer, the flocks of geese, and the schools of bass.  The stars, the planets, and the galaxies.  That someone is God.  He knows all of his creation by name and created it for his pleasure.

And he loves you and me more than anything else that he created.  Ephesians 2:10a (NLT) says, “For we are God’s masterpiece.”  Ephesians 1:4 (NLT) says, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”  God loved us enough to send his only son to earth to die a horrible death on a cross to take the punishment for our sins and to offer us redemption through faith in Jesus.  Jesus said in John 3:16-17 (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 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 that his creation is magnificent, and he is awesome and worthy of your praise!  And that’s no tall tale!

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