For the past few days I have sat in a tree stand while temperatures soared into the seventies. And I’m hunting in the Midwest in November! During each afternoon’s hunt, I only wore a T-shirt and carried a light jacket in case I needed it. I usually didn’t. The mornings were cooler, but even then, I only needed the bare minimum gear to stay comfortable. My last morning was the weirdest. There was a weather front coming in. My weather app revealed that I would begin my hunt with temps resting in the low sixties. Again, not much prep needed for that. That afternoon, however, was different. The temperature would drop into the forties, with periodic rain and gusting winds. Now that took some planning. I needed to stay somewhat dry and warm, while also keeping my extra gear dry as well. The gear was fine. Me, not so much. I forgot an extra pair of gloves and I sure could have used another layer of warmth under my raincoat. I did see deer, but nothing that would warm my blood. Now, I’m just thinking about the extremes I witnessed in only five short days – and their differences.

                 Like my hunt, most days of the week are comfortable. While they may have their own challenges, they only require minimal planning. Most Wednesdays are like other Wednesdays. We just get up and go without thinking about anything that might turn our comfortable temperatures into extreme conditions We mostly carry with us only what is needed for the expectations we have. While I consider myself an over-preparer, that’s usually just when I’m traveling – not when I’m just living. The truth is, there will be days when our expectations will be met with a more formidable certainty. Some of these will only require a temporary detour, but others will permanently change our path and the direction we were heading. One will turn our work upside down, and the other our world. Regardless of what may come, here’s what we can know and do about the unknown. We can know that God knows what’s up ahead. He will not be surprised, shocked, or taken aback by anything in our future, no matter how extreme. God knows, and still has promised to protect and provide during these times. Knowing that God knows means we don’t have to worry or wonder about any uncertainty. We just need to keep our eyes on the one who sees what we can’t see. There is no way we can prepare for everything life will throw at us. But we can know God already has. And that simplifies everything. Maybe that’s why Solomon wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov 3:5-6 ESV) 

Gary Miller       

Gary has written the Outdoor Truths article for 20 years. He has also written four books which include compilations of his articles and a father/son devotional. He also speaks at wild-game dinners and men’s events for churches and associations