The Rabbit and the Hunter
A good story is one that continually pops-up in your memory no matter how many years may have passed since the incident happened. My encounter with a rabbit occurred fifty-six years ago, but to me, it still seems like it only happened yesterday. One day while hunting I spotted a rabbit as it darted through the woods. We noticed each other at the same time; I know this because when the rabbit saw me it ran into a little cove and I gave chase.
As I stepped into the narrow burrow, I noticed there were only one way in and one way out of the rabbits burrow. The rabbit was trapped and could not escape because I was standing between the rabbits only exit.
Do rabbits pray?
I raised my gun to my shoulder and looked down the barrel of my Winchester. As I was adjusting the gun's sight the Rabbit did something I have never noticed in the past; this rabbit had its eyes closed. The rabbits' strange behavior made me ask the question, is this rabbit praying? Hey! Why are you laughing? How do you know rabbits do not pray? Are you the rabbit expert? Whatever the rabbit had been doing with its eyes closed it worked because soon after I thought the rabbit was praying, and I had visions of the rabbit speaking with God and begging for mercy. As I pointed my gun at the rabbit, my mind flooded with images of this rabbit having babies, and they are waiting for their mother rabbit to bring them dinner.
Man's heart is evil.
In the book of Genesis, the Lord said, the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth (Gen.8:21). My heart was no exception, I was in the woods for one reason, to hunt down rabbits, and to hurt, maim, and kill any rabbits that happened to cross my path that day. The prophet Jeremiah also said, the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it (Jer.17:9). My heart was deceiving me into believing it was fun to kill helpless rabbits that God had also created (Gen.1:20-25). I was killing innocent rabbits for no other reason than to satisfy my evil desires.
Can God change a man’s heart?
In the book of Acts, Luke, the author wrote about a man named Saul. This man was also wicked, except instead of killing rabbits, Saul was persecuting the people of God. Some Christians, Saul shut up in prison, other Christians he would punish often, and some of the followers of Jesus he would put to death (Acts.26:9-11). As evil as Saul was yet God changed his thoughts, then his heart, and last of all, God changed his life (Acts.26:12-18).
God’s grace changes hearts.
Saul said it was by God’s grace that his heart had been changed. As sinful as Saul was, God’s grace toward Him abounded much more (Rom.5:20-21). Saul said it was only by God’s grace that his heart became new(Eze.36:24-27). Was the rabbit praying, I don’t know, and most likely, I will never know, but one thing is sure while looking down the barrel of my gun that same grace that God showered Saul with was also poured out on me because something supernaturally happened? God changed my heart, then my mind, and I no longer looked at this rabbit as something to chase down maim and kill to satisfy my lust for bloodshed.
God’s grace opens the eyes of men.
For the first time, I saw this rabbit as God saw her, a mother with baby kittens. God had given this mother rabbit the responsibility to feed and protect the baby bunnies He had placed in her care. And here I stand with a loaded gun ready to end her life because, to me, she was just a rabbit. Everything God created has a purpose in life; God’s grace opened my eyes to that truth.
Did God give me a new heart?
Did God take my heart of stone and replace it with a new heart? I do not know if He changed my heart or not, but what I do know is my desire to hunt maim, and kill animals was something I no longer desired to do.
Here is what I am confident of, I entered the woods as a cold-blooded rabbit killer and after my encounter with the praying rabbit, and I am leaving the forest as a man reduced to tears over a rabbit that may or may not have a litter of kittens. I thought it strange that God would use a rabbit to change a man’s heart, but He did! God supernaturally changed my heart that day while I was in the woods.
God’s grace is available to everyone.
Why do you think I am sharing this story with you? So you can laugh, or have something to read, of course not, I am telling you my story as a testimony that God’s grace does have the power to change the hearts of men and woman even though their heart may be wicked (Ezekiel 36: 26, 27).
In the book of Luke, Jesus said, for the son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk.19:10). I was lost, in sin, and God had mercy on me and showered me with His grace.
Did God perform a miracle?
God performed a miracle that day. The Lord had performed three miracles that day.
(1) God’s grace spared the life of a mother rabbit.
(2) By God’s grace, the baby kittens received food.
(3) By God’s grace, a man's heart changed forever.
Oh! By the way, God performed another miracle that day, since my encounter with the praying rabbit, I no longer hunt, did I shoot the rabbit? “Of course not,” and by the way, this is a true story, and the hunter was me, Pastor Dennis. And no, I was not a Pastor when I had the encounter with the praying rabbit (2-Cor.13:5-7). Hope you enjoyed the story and may God bless you. I pray God gives everyone who reads this story a testimony that they can share with their family and friends.
© 2016 Rev Dennis L Johnson