by Efton Green
Having been an exclusive bow-only hunter for many years, I know firsthand when you get a chance to take a mature animal you better do it. Second chances are rare, but that’s what happened to me one November in the hunting woods. I had set up in a small flat of water-oak acorn trees where deer were feeding regularly and the bucks were coming to check on the does. One morning just as it was breaking daylight I could see a deer feeding, and I could tell it was a buck. It was foggy that morning, and I had forgotten my binoculars; I could not decide if the buck I was seeing was a mature buck until he walked out of my shooting range. Then I realized that he was definitely a shooter. I flipped out; I had just let a mature buck walk by me at 20 yards and did not let an arrow fly.
I was nocked, cocked, and ready to rock the following morning in that same spot just like the day before. Right at daybreak I saw a deer feeding in the flat. Believe it or not, it was the buck I had passed up the day before. It was clear that morning, and I needed no help seeing that he was a shooter.
In bow hunting, it may be rare to get a second chance at a mature animal, but not with Christ. According to Lamentations 3:22 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end;” God’s love never stops and His mercy toward us is always available. What that means for us is God is always ready to give us a second chance. His goal for each of us is to be forgiven. In John 3:16 it says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” God loves us and wants us to come to Him. If you’re unsure that you are forgiven check out what Romans 10:13 says “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Being saved means you are forgiven and also that God will come and live inside you through the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you until the day He takes us to heaven.
My second chance at that buck turned out great. The arrow found its mark and passed through. I waited a while before climbing down from the tree and went and picked up my youngest son, Tommy. We went back with our family dog, Freckles, and she carried Tommy right to the deer.