As I drove home and the sun peaked out, it became abundantly clear. I went to the range after a rough day. I find a little physical exertion is good to relieve stress and take out frustrations (though not the best when trying to shoot perfect scores). Archery helps calm and focus my mind. Well, the weather wasn’t great. Storm clouds seemed to surround the range. But, I need the practice and the tension release.
Thunder rolled. The wind picked up. I thought, Thunder all you want, I’m staying.
Then, I changed my mindset and began praying. I asked God to grant me time for just 60 arrows. I began shooting. Just before the fourth end (an end is 5 arrows; you shoot 5 then score them [in case you were curious]). After the fifth end, the wind really picked up and the rain began to come down in a fine mist. Thunder rolled all around me.
I said, “Fine, Lord, I hear You. I’ll turn in.” Thunder rolled in response. The Bible says “Do not put the Lord to the test” (Deuteronomy 6:16). I didn’t want to end up like that scene in Caddyshack.
As I finished putting my bow away (it’s an ILF recurve setup so the limbs come off the riser; plus, it’s illegal to drive with a strung bow), the misting ceased. I realized my error. I started at the cloudy sky and apologized. I didn’t trust enough.
I asked. The Lord was ready to give. I just didn’t trust enough to receive His gift.
And there’s the rub. How do I know when it’s me testing God or when it’s God testing me? Thus far, I’ve only been able to tell afterward. By how I feel. I know when I’ve failed Him; when He’s wanted to gift me a display of His power and I haven’t trusted enough to stay to witness it. It’s a thin line to walk; I suppose it’ll only get clearer with practice.
Or maybe it won’t. But, we shouldn’t give up on letting the Lord show us his mercy and grace.