I leaned against a huge red fir tree and prayed. “Guide my steps, Lord. Please God, guide me straight to him. Lord, I am not sure what to do or where to go, but right now I need you to help me please.” It was just this last Saturday that I stood in the forest praying that prayer. Let me give you a bit of the story of why I was asking God for his divine intervention and guidance.
Crash! Crash! Crash! A bull elk came charging down the hill straight at me. Dad and I had made multiple attempts to call an elk in, and we began to believe that it was a lost cause. No elk were going to answer that day. We had been hunting hard all day to no avail. Over a mile away from our camp, we were about to pack up and head back to camp. Just as I put my calls away and zipped up my backpack, here he came. From nothing, to this huge elk standing in front of me, it all happened in seconds. Bow hunting elk can often do that to a guy, change on a dime, and you better be ready.
This beautiful bull elk came running to the sound of our calls and sent me scrambling to get my bow ready to take a shot. He gave me a quick opportunity to take a shot and I took it. My arrow was slightly off target, but I hit him. The elk charged off through the brush, and as fast as the encounter started it was over. Dad and I looked at each other in amazement at what just happened.
As we do every time either of us takes a shot at an animal, we prayed. We waited an hour to begin the process of trying to find him. My heart sunk, because as we searched there was no blood trail. I could not find where he had gone. Once he vanished into the forest and out of my site I had no idea where he went. We searched, and with every step I took the ache in my gut grew. The potential of wounding an elk and not finding it made me sick. So I saw this big red fir tree and it was in the general direction I believed the elk went. With brush so think you can only see several feet in front of you my hopes continued to slip. I needed God’s help. I prayed and he answered.
I took just four steps away from that tree, looked up, and there was the elk. It was one of those moments in my life that will always feel surreal. From that tree I could have taken four steps in a myriad of directions. Any of those, other than the four steps I took, would have taken me away from the elk. Yet I believe God just walked me right to where I needed to go.
Now, please hear me. I do not believe that God is a genie in the bottle. I pray a prayer and poof He does it. There are many times I have asked God for a physical want in this world and He has said no. On this day, I really needed it, and He was speaking to me in a way that had meaning beyond an elk.
I am in one of those seasons in life. With planting a church and leading my team, I feel I need God to guide every step. He has me learning about trusting Him and allowing Him to lead me in the direction that HE wants. I am learning to trust and walk in a deeper journey with Him. The elk hunt with my dad was one of God’s classroom moments with me, and, once again, I was learning more about WHO He is and WHO I am not.
Do you need God to guide in you some way? Are you close enough to Him that if He points out the steps you can see them? Are you close enough to hear His voice? God typically doesn’t scream to get your attention. His speaks to us in a whisper, or in the loving answer to a quiet prayer. I pray that you will walk closely with Him and allow Him to guide you where you need to go.