Campers Beware
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Campers Beware

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There are some dangers that campers should beware of. Warnings that everyone needs to understand and heed. When choosing a camping site, you must investigate the area for potential hazards. 

Everyone in the south knows the rhyme, “three leaves, beware of these.” Poison ivy, poison oak, and other poisonous plants have three leaves. It is also advised that you check your chosen camping area for other dangers also. 

Claw marks on trees can mean bears. Rubbing marks on three can mean deer. Trampled down brush or grass usually means an animal bedding spot. 

It is essential to know your animal tracks also. Which animals have four toes or five? What animals leave hoof prints? Finding scat may also be a tale-tale sign of what is living in the area. 

Look for slithering snake tracts and snake skins, especially near water. Watch for cliffs, and potential rock falls. Choose a site that is well shaded for protection from the sun.

Nature can warn us of potential situations if we are observant. These warnings could potentially save our lives. There are many examples of wildlife predicting the weather.

Cows go to the high ground and bed down when inclement weather is on the horizon. “When the birds fly high, it will be a nice sky.” When frogs croak long and loud, they warn us of a pending storm. Ladybugs swarm when it will be warm. Wooly bear caterpillars predict the harshness of the winter. Squirrels nest high when a bad winter is coming. Sharks swim to deeper waters when a hurricane is on its way.

All these signs are a part of the “Life in the South unofficial bible.” Some of us grew up knowing these things as well as our ABCs. Other warnings include the trees turning over their leaves to drink means rain. “Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.” That one does have Biblical inspiration. Crack a persimmon pit and see if it is a fork, knife, or spoon to forecast a cold, icy, or snowy winter. 

Does nature contain warnings, signs, and messages? I believe so, and I think this verse back it up. 

Romans 1: 20 Forever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense.

We see that nature takes a significant role in daily and spiritual life throughout the Bible. From a talking serpent in the Garden of Eden to Balaam’s donkey, nature has been a participant in this world. Ravens fed prophets, and doves found dry land. God uses nature to reveal Himself.

Over my 49 years, God has given me comfort through nature’s beauty. He has humbled me in the massive mountains and tall trees. He has spoken to me through nature’s fury and its peace. 

Jesus spoke to the waters and storm to be still.

Mark 4:39 And He got up and [sternly] rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still (muzzled)!” And the wind died down [as if it had grown weary], and there was [at once] a great calm [a perfect peacefulness].

He also cursed a fig tree.

Mark 11:12-14 The next day, as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

Mark 11:20-21 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

These interactions with nature were used to teach the disciples and later us some essential lessons. We should not fear but have faith. We should seek to produce fruit.

Galatians 5:22:23 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Jesus used a fish to pay his taxes. This one always makes me smile. As a kid, I thought God might send me coins when I went fishing. 

Matthew 17:27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take it and give it to them [to pay the temple tax] for you and Me.”

If fuel prices and inflation don’t come down soon, we all may be doing more fishing. 

It is very common in the Bible that God uses the wind, rain, sun, moon, waters, and birds, just to name a few, to bless and curse humans. He uses them as comfort and as judgment. Most of all, He uses them all to remind us that He is God and is able to reveal Himself to us through His creation.

In Mark, just after the fig tree incident, Jesus explains that if we have faith in Him, we can remove mountains. If we do not doubt, Jesus says He will answer our prayers.

Mark 11:22-24 Jesus replied, “Have faith in God [constantly]. 23 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ and [f]does not doubt in his heart [in God’s unlimited power], but believes that what he says is going to take place, it will be done for him [in accordance with God’s will]. 24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], believe [with confident trust] that you have received them, and they will be given to you.

A dear friend of mine tells the story of when he was growing up, he would hunt and explore the Appalachian mountains near his home. One day he was up there looking around at the mountain ranges around him and began to pray with child-like faith. God, you said I could command these mountains to be gone, and I do. God take away these mountains. He remembered his prayers for a while and kept the faith until he had gotten older, and it didn’t seem to be as important to him. 

Years later, as a husband, father, and pastor, he took to the mountains to seek God. As he found his favorite place and sat down, he began to take in the beauty of God’s creation. He immediately was humbled, and tears grew to his eyes as he looked around at those mountains he had cursed. They indeed were gone. They were gone. A coal company had come through and mined and destroyed those cursed mountains. 

Does God speak to us through nature? Oh yes, and it is up to us to listen. 


CreghinkleEdited JUN. 29, 2023 AT 11:33 AM

great lesson

BetsyCoachmanLeprechaun200CBEdited JUN. 29, 2023 AT 11:33 AM


JakeEdited JUN. 29, 2023 AT 11:33 AM

It's funny the unconventional and unexpected means used when speaking things to life.

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