Mid May marks the end of this spring’s turkey season. This year I was fortunate to have harvested what will likely be the biggest bird of my lifetime. It weighed 25 pounds, 10 ounces and had 6 beards ranging from 3 to 10 inches and his spurs were pretty nice too. This proves that God is gracious and that blind pigs find acorns occasionally.
As I sat at my tree hoping for a longbeard one morning, I remembered a comment someone once made. He said, “There must not be many turkeys since I never see any.” I tried to explain that there are plenty in our area, but that you have to put yourself in a position to see them. They’re not likely to fly into our bedrooms, although they do occasionally.
In order to hear a turkey gobble or see one strut, you have to do some scouting. Experienced hunters know to look for signs like feathers, scratchings, or scat. Locations with abundant sign are good places to set up with a shotgun or camera. It’s no guarantee that you’ll connect, but your odds improve dramatically compared to watching television in your living room and wondering why you never see turkeys.
This reminds me of what some say about God. Comments like, “God never speaks to me,” may reflect a similar problem. In order to hear from God, it helps to put ourselves in favorable places to do so.
One of the best opportunities is found in His Word. Although He can and does speak in other ways, God’s primary method of communicating with us is through the Bible. The 66 books are one extended love letter from our Father in which He speaks clearly.
In the Old Testament, Moses heard God in a burning bush and others encountered Him through angels or personal appearances. One reason God did that was because they did not yet have Scripture. We are far more fortunate than they in that we can pick up our Bibles and hear from God anytime anywhere.
Another great place to hear and see God is in worship with other believers. As we glorify God together, He has a way of speaking to our souls through songs, prayers, and sermons.
Sunday School classes and Bible studies are also fantastic locations to hear from God. As others share insights, God’s Holy Spirit speaks through them to us. But if I never attend any of these, never read my Bible, and don’t go to church, my odds of encountering God are much slimmer.
Another excellent avenue to connect with God is prayer. We can pray in even more places than we can read our Bibles. We can pray in bed, when we’re afraid or hurting, when we’re excited and happy, when we’re driving or riding, and even while we’re hunting.
We may not always like what God has to say when we do hear Him, but that’s a different issue. Sometimes that’s the very reason we avoid places and activities where He’s likely to speak. God has a way not only of assuring us of His love, but also of convicting us of things that hurt others and wound Him. The word for this is sin and none of us like to hear about our own, but in order to enjoy God’s good news we must confess our bad news.
As another Spring Gobbler season winds to a close this month, I’m still chasing those elusive birds. But even if I don’t connect with another one, it’s great to know I can connect with God anytime anywhere. May we each do the same.