“And, I will bless those who bless you” (Genesis 12:3)
My mind goes back to November of 1980, and so my story begins. My name is Tom Sprague, and I had been saved for five years. I was about to learn that the Lord will bless those who bless us. November is a big month in Washington County, Maine. November is deer hunting season, and fir tip picking season, too. I would pick fir tips for my wife, and she would make Christmas wreaths out of the balsam fir tips. I would leave home early and off I would go–hoping to find some good fir tips, and perhaps even a deer!
This particular morning, I stopped to get my friend Warren Colbeth, and we headed out–tipping and hunting. We drove to Township 25 in Wesley, Maine. We were riding on a side road, and spotted a camper with a pickup truck parked by it. There was a man standing by the camper, so we stopped to say “Hi.”
After we greeted him, he said,
“Come on in and have a hot cup of coffee!”
“Sure,” we said, and in we went. As we drank our coffee, he told us that he had been coming to Township 25 for about thirty years, and that he had never shot a deer. He just enjoyed hunting season, and the joy of hunting. We finished talking and told him we hoped he would get a deer, and waved goodbye.
Warren and I got into our truck and headed out to find some good fir tips. We drove for about two miles on the blueberry barrens when we saw the strangest thing! Down in a gully were a couple of men, and they were in pursuit of four deer. Warren and I could see the deer but the two hunters could not.
The deer were about three hundred yards from us, and we got out of the truck quickly, with our rifles in hand! Off to the right were three does, and to the left was a big Buck. I could see his big rack, and I took bead on him.
I only had a 44 rifle, and at that distance my rifle was like a pea shooter. I aimed about four inches over his head and fired. And, then Warren fired at one of the does. They did not act like they were hit, so we got into our truck and headed, once again, looking for fir tips. Warren was an experienced hunter, and he did not think we hit them. We picked fir tips the rest of the day and went home.
Does the Lord bless those who bless us?
We were about to find out the next morning! It was cold and frosty the next morning, and as we drove the same route as the day before, and guess what? Directly ahead of us was that man driving his pickup! And, out of the back of his truck was this big old head of a 12-point Buck!
He stopped, and we stopped, and got out, and went up to him. I said,
“Wow, that is some deer that you shot!”
“I didn’t shoot it! I was riding around yesterday and I saw this huge rack of antlers sticking up out of the blueberry bushes. So, I gutted it and had someone help me load it on my truck.”
Then he told us he was on his way to tag it.
Wondering where it was hit, we looked it over carefully. Then we saw it—one tiny bullet hole. A hole about the size of my 44 bullet! It must have hit an artery, and the deer slowly bled to death. The last we saw of those deer they were heading down into some woods. The Buck apparently had life enough to walk up from the woods, and die several feet from the woods road.
That man had blessed us with a hot cup of coffee, and the Lord blessed him with a “12-point Buck!!” Does the Lord bless those who bless us? He sure does!!!
I hope this story will be a blessing to someone, and that it will encourage us all to never tire of doing good! Hear what Jesus tells us in Mark 9:41–
“For whoever gives you a cup of water” [or coffee] “to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
That man shared his coffee with us, not expecting anything in return. And, the One who sees all rewarded him wondrously! I rejoice every time I tell this story!