Good Morning Brothers…
A good huntin’ buddy of mine is filling in this morning. The devotion below has passed every stringent background check and theological review and is ready to edify the body and glorify our Lord. Enjoy…
One of my fondest memories growing up in middle-America was the morning of my first duck hunt at the age of eight. Indulge me a little and catch this picture. As the sun starts to rise from the East I look out of over a couple dozen decoys, still trying to figure out why I got up this early, to see what ‘the spread’ looks like. It’s cold enough that there is frost on the ground and as I breath out my vision is clouded as my breath has become visible in the brisk temps. As I look to my right off in the distance a little ways I see another group of decoys and a hunter still messing with something in the pond. To my left, that duck blind must be empty this morning for there isn’t any movement and not a spread to speak of. As I stand in the in-ground duck blind watching my Grandpa and Uncle maneuver around getting everything in it’s place, this overwhelming excitement came over me. Not only has God’s creation and it’s beauty done something to stir emotion in me, I am with two of the men I look up to most! I’m one of the big dogs now. Immediately I know I’m hooked….and I haven’t even seen a duck yet!
From that moment until now, 20 years later, I have learned a lot about duck hunting. Like what type of decoys I like, why I put them in the places I do, the difference between a single reed and a double reed duck call. All the way down even to the camo pattern I prefer. However the one thing I learned that morning and am consciously aware each time I step foot in a duck blind is the importance of the people I’m with. See duck hunting is significantly different then deer or turkey hunting. It takes a group, body or community of people coming together to make the hunt work and everyone has something to offer. Whether the group has a first time hunter with them or it’s a group of guys that has hunted together for years, everyone has something to offer.
By now I would assume you know where I am going with this. See to me, duck hunting reminds me a lot of the Body of Christ, the church. The Bible talks about each one of us has a part or a role to play in making the church function as Christ wanted it to function. To be a part of the Body of Christ is in our DNA, it’s who we are. The biblical and ancient definition of person is “a being in community.” Thus the reason God made duck hunting……(insert laugh). Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. (1Corinthians12:12)
Realizing that there are many parts to the Body of Christ and that each one needs a person to fill that part is easy for most to understand. Where we find it hard to comprehend is when we are placed as the big toe instead of the eyes, ears, or mouth. We completely miss the fact that our big toe is a huge part in a persons balance. We, or better yet, the enemy gets in our heads and says that because the big toe is covered up by socks and shoes that it’s pointless. That we aren’t affecting anyone. That we should be the mouthpiece of that ministry, instead of stuffing bulletins. That’s like saying the decoy guy got his feelings hurt because he doesn’t get to blow on the duck call, so he just isn’t gonna put them out today, and yet, he has a gift when it comes to making the best looking spread. Without decoys, you have no ducks!!!!
Psalms 133:1 “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in community.” Or better yet, “We should bear one another’s joys AND burdens.” (Romans 12)
There are two times when you see duck hunters walk this scripture out:
- The first one is when a block of ducks, about 4 or 5, come by and you whack them all. There is a lot of joy in that moment. The high-fives start flying, the saying “that’s what I’m talking about is used more than needed, and yes the prideful “that’s some good shootin’ right there boys.”
- The second is when that same block of ducks comes by and you miss all of them. I promise there isn’t a duck hunter I know that won’t says “It’s ok boys, we’ll get em next time.” It’s in our nature to ban together. To work for the good of something. To have purpose. To grow the Kingdom of God (Romans 12:9-16.) Anything else is a lie straight from the devil himself (Matthew 16:18.)
I urge you today to think about the greater good of the church you serve. To humble yourselves before the Lord and realize that your role, whatever it may be, is pivotal. That you as a person have value and that value is needed right where you are serving. If you are reading this and you aren’t part of a church for various reasons. I hope that you hear one thing…..you’re important. You may not be the best duck caller, you might not be called to preach, but you are loved and accepted, and there is a place for you in this duck blind. After 20 years of duck hunting God has shown me many things, but the most important is that He has a place for everyone and each role is as important as the next.
“May the Lord bless youand keep you. May He make His face shine upon youand be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favorand give you His peace.”
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit……