Be Still and Know

This perfectly still and overcast winter morning, I sat nestled in my tree stand 17 feet off the ground. It was an hour before sunrise, but the snow covered forest floor provided a white canvas backdrop against which each tree stood black in contrast. As cold as it was, the warm blanket of darkness was peaceful, and made everything surrounding me seem close. The silence was stark. "Be Still, And Know That I am God". In solitude and on such mornings, this verse and others resound in my mind as I let the presence of God wash over me and as I revel in fellowship with my Creator. Except for here in these woods, there is very few places in my life where enjoying quiet or being still are even possible. The sky blushed to gray in varying degrees of dawn and the fabric of morning rippled as a red squirrel leaped from his hole to the bark of an oak tree near me. He hesitated upside down, head cocked in my direction, tail twitching. Deeming me harmless, he skittered down the tree and across a log to burrow in the snow for acorns. A nuthatch landed six inches from my face, exploring the bark for edibles. As if in a chain reaction, the woods came to life just as a cold sun pierced orange through the naked trees. A volley of bird calls caught my attention, familiar since this call was one I mimic to beckon my hunting buddies in the woods. I rose slowly to call back to them. Whistling was a challenge through my soggy face mask, but when I did make my first noise, my cohorts went silent. I called again, and got a response, and then another. For five minutes we called to each other. Crows cawing overhead sent the birds to flight and I realized I was standing there with my bow at my side, quite unprepared if a whitetail were to present itself. I closed my eyes and gave thanks. God's creation is a living signature to his awesome and incomprehensible glory. Hours later, the predicted winds stirred the Aspen crowns, so I quietly crawled out of my tree and crunched through the snow back to camp. How very wise is God's word to "Be Still". I thank God that my hunting provides those times to "Be Still and Know".