I still have no idea how the beast of an animal got within ten yards of me without making a sound. My bow was at my side, but the bull caught me so unprepared, the likelihood of getting a shot off without the incredible animal bolting down the hill were pretty much nil.
My shoulders sunk with the disappointment, but the scenario got me thinking. God loves to take our journeys through life and expose us to His character.
I missed my chance at the elk that day for several reasons. My lack of experience, misreading the terrain, and flat out lack of patience all factored in to my mistake. Yes, the elk realized that strange blob of camouflage was, in fact, not a bush, but a human, and he did eventually turn tail and run. I swear that he winked at me first, though, like Roadrunner to my Wile E. Coyote. It was then that I found God was using my disappointment to make an appointment with me.
Like my trek through the woods, where I missed the signs of the elk in my presence, God is often leaving clues, signs of His closeness, like scattered breadcrumbs or fresh animal tracks that lead us deeper into the forest. Once the elk bolted that day, I plopped myself down on a log, heart pounding, almost drowning in God’s whispered truth. God used that elk to teach me some lessons about life; my heavenly Father needed to talk to His adopted son, and disappointment was His knock at my door.
Sometimes I feel like I’m wandering through a forest as I’m navigating and learning God’s character. For me, too often it has taken coming face to face with an animal. Other times, I am tangled in the brush, confused and turned around, disappointed with the path laid out in front of me. Then, there are the days I stand on the ridge top, seeing His presence for miles in breathtaking beauty.
God will use our disappointments in life as significant moments to talk to us, if we will listen. We follow the signs in His word, the breadcrumb promptings of the Holy Spirit, which nudge us into deeper relationship with God.
When you find yourself disappointed, stop, take a seat on a log and listen. Listen closely and quiet your complaints and protest, for the Creator of the universe, your Father, has something to say.