I recently received word that one of my favorite hunting spots had been clear cut. I almost immediately went into a state of deer hunter's depression. This beautiful block of mixed pines and hardwoods has historically held many deer, and generally has at least one nice buck taken off of it each year. As it turned out, the cutting finished up prior to archery season, and I decided to check out the area a few weeks ago. Upon seeing the stark change in landscape, my first impression was that the area had been destroyed, another productive hunting spot lost. Nevertheless, I decided to grab my bow and treestand, and trek to the newly established tree line on the back side of the cut for an afternoon hunt. To my surprise, deer were moving through this "re-designed" area most of the afternoon, one of which was a "shooter" buck just out of range of my archery equipment.
I now realize that the new layout of this property may actually help us in taking more deer there. Bedding areas have become more defined, and there are increased opportunities for deer to browse and feed. In addition, hunters can more clearly determine deer habits and movements, move into and out of the area quietly, and shoot much further than before. Ironically, what I thought had destroyed the property appears to have made it more productive!
Now more than ever, life appears to be throwing seemingly catastrophic situations at each of us. Job losses, financial stresses, worldly unrest, sickness, the sudden passing of loved ones, and the list certainly doesn't stop there - all have us feeling like our hopes, comforts, and securities have been "clear cut", and believing that things will never be like they used to be. Nevertheless, we will benefit from remembering that even though we cannot see the entire picture or understand why things are happening, God can and does. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that the Lord has plans to prosper us, not to harm us, and to give us hope and a future. The apostle Paul goes on to stress that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Hang in there! Take one day at a time, and put your faith in God who will bring about even greater things than you once knew. - GE