The picture above this post is beautiful! I wish I had taken it, but the few pictures I took were much closer! I mentioned in previous posts that I worked as an agronomist for several years. One would expect to see wildlife in that line of work. In 2020 however, I often saw at least one deer a day for several days in a row. Many times I’d see more than one deer a day and occasionally I saw a doe with a fawn or with twins. These occurrences were not just a result of my being in fields all day every day. Let me share what type of experiences I had and you’ll agree they were unusual.
Obviously I saw deer crossing the road in front of my pickup. They were always a safe distance away, though. The deer I saw while I was outside of my pickup were significantly closer. Upon exiting one field I found myself face to face with a doe only 10 feet away from me! She stood still while I quietly slipped my phone out of my pocket, took a picture and then she trotted away. When I boarded my four-wheeler to leave that spot I was surprised to see her fawn laying in the grass directly in front of the four-wheeler, not even five feet away!
Another time I was traveling slowly around a field, snug between the outside cornrow and the barbed wire fence. All of a sudden a young buck jumped out of the field and over the fence right in front of me! I had to squeeze the brakes hard to avoid hitting him, and almost threw myself over the handlebars! I had to catch my breath, amazed he didn’t jump out right where I was and knock me off the four-wheeler!
When I rode up to a field in north central Nebraska there was a young buck grazing in the alfalfa just outside of the corn. As I dismounted my mechanical steed, the deer was curious and began walking toward me! I crouched low in the pivot corner. He walked closer until he was within 15 feet of me! When I lost my balance slightly, the deer spooked and trotted away. A few weeks later I entered that same field from the other side. The young buck was not paying attention and I walked right up behind him. I was about five feet away when he finally noticed me and ran off. I was not paying attention, either, and had to thank God I didn’t get kicked accidentally! Still another time, I entered a field that appeared to be wildlife free, only to have six bucks stand up from beneath the soybean canopy and trot off. I drove past one soybean field where there was a lone pair of antlers sticking out of the leaves. I let him think I didn’t see him! I’m not going to lie, at one point I was tempted to make myself a shirt that read “Katie got ran over by a reindeer” after the popular Christmas song!
If the holy Bible is our Lord’s word to us, which I believe it is, then I knew there had to be verses in there to either confirm or deny that all these deer sightings were from him. Sure enough, I found several verses where God used animals to communicate. A few examples are:
- Numbers 22:28-30, when Balaam’s donkey spoke;
- 1 Samuel 6:1-12, when two cows hitched to a cart returned the Ark of the Covenant;
- 1 Kings 17:2-6, when Elijah was fed by ravens;
- Daniel 6:22, when God shut the mouths of lions while Daniel was in their den;
- and Jonah 1:17 and 2:10, when God made a whale swallow Jonah and then spit him out again.
I knew so many close calls with one specific type of animal couldn’t be coincidental. I stopped believing in coincidences when I learned who was in charge. However, I am a slow learner! Near the end of the scouting season I finally figured out my heavenly Father was trying to tell me something. So I prayed and asked what it was he wanted me to know from all these close calls. To answer me, our Lord pointed out two verses from his love letter to us, the Bible:
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.
From these two verses I knew my Lord was warning me the path I was on would get rocky. I understood from visiting the mountains myself that this walk with my Father would become slippery, the terrain more uneven and I’d need him to supply the breath I needed to keep going. However, God was also showing me that he prepared me for the journey. I had everything I needed to obey him because my Sovereign LORD provided it for me. Yes, my walk with God has gotten steeper, but my faith in him has grown as a result. As soon as I learned the lesson he was teaching, my Father stopped using the deer to communicate with me. Every once in a while I see deer now. I remember that summer fondly. I miss seeing the deer so close, but I can’t stay in that moment. My Father and I are on a trek!
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