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Faith eases uncertainty
There’s one thing about hunting. One will have to get used to walking in the dark. I have noticed lately how each morning, I begin my turkey hunt, walking through woods and across a field in the dark. This year the lightning bugs have put on a daily pyrotechnical display. I tried to film it one morning, but there was not enough surrounding light to show its real beauty. And sometimes the sky is so clear, it’s almost that one can’t see a spot without a star. And then there are the times when the overcast is so dense, you can barely see your hand in front of your face. These are the times a flashlight is a must. And these are also the times when a little fear wants to show its head. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am rarely afraid in the woods. That is unless I’m hunting the mountainous places in my home area. There, I’m always thinking about black bears and the occasional mountain lion that has been spotted. Then, I am making sure I have one hand on a pistol, the other with mace, and a headlamp on that could light up the local football stadium. No one has ever been bored from fear. And nothing great has been accomplished without it, as well. My Christian life is no different.
There is a statement in the Bible that is to characterize a believer’s life. It is, “The just shall live by faith.” Faith is needed when certainty is absent. When certainty is absent, fear will rear its ugly head. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the fear. Just ask Moses, as he stood with two million grumbling Jews at the bank of the Red Sea. Just ask Joshua as he surrounded the city of Jericho without weapons. Just ask Peter as he released his grip on the boat in order to walk on the water. Don’t let anyone tell you anything differently. They all had fear. None had perfect faith, because each one depended on a supernatural interruption in a natural world. All through the Bible, perhaps God’s most given command and advice to his people was don’t fear. Don’t be afraid. He was not telling them that so they wouldn’t be afraid. He was telling them that because he knew they WOULD BE. No one who has ever attempted something great and risky has done so without a temptation to fear. That is simply impossible. And if a believer is to live by faith, God will call him or her to attempt something great and risky… and unlikely, improbable, or even impossible. With that call, will always be the temptation to fear. And THAT is why God says, “Don’t fear.” He knows, great men and women of faith are made, as they put fear in its rightful place. And that’s just below the words of the One who has just told us not to be afraid. If your Christian life is boring, maybe you need to get out of the boat. No one has ever been bored from fear.
■ Gary has written the Outdoor Truths article for 20 years. He has also written four books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He also speaks at wild-game dinners and men’s events for churches and associations.