Ask, and Ye Shall Receive…
There are a lot of different critters that I hope to someday photograph. This isn’t a race for me, and I can patiently wait for the opportunities when they arise. I enjoy shooting images of the same White Breasted Nuthatches in our woods that I have photographed over and over again. Each shoot is different– different lighting, different background, different pose of the bird, and likely different camera settings. While I may never do anything with the extra images of the same bird, the opportunity affords me a little more practice and enjoyment of watching wildlife. Now and then I will have a specific target animal on my mind that I’d like to capture on camera, and in the past several months – once on a business trip to Utah with Alesia, and another time on a recent Sunday morning trek to church – I verbalized my desire to do so. On the Utah trip last June, I mentioned to Alesia that if we had the opportunity to photograph a moose, the entire trip would be worth lugging my camera equipment around. During the second day of meetings at Park City we had a several hour block of time to ourselves, so we took a short drive toward Heber City, just to see what was there. As we were headed south on Highway 40 and crossed the Provo River below Jordanelle Reservoir, Alesia spotted a Bull Moose browsing through the vegetation along the river. A most agreeable subject, he allowed me to take a number of pictures as he worked his way through the willows.
On a recent Sunday morning I announced to my family that I’d sure like to get a Porcupine photographed. When we lived near Musselshell, porcupine sightings were fairly common, but I hadn’t seen one for a number of years. About 45 minutes later, as we were headed out to Musselshell for church, Lauren spotted a porcupine in a small tree not far from the highway. I jumped out of the pickup and proceeded to get several shots of this timid creature. While the lighting wasn’t great and the setting wasn’t perfect, it was a fun opportunity that added to my animal image portfolio.
These couple instances of answered requests were almost comical because my verbal request was so quickly met. And because I don’t hold a lot of stock in coincidence, to me, these were opportunities that the Lord took to remind me that He is there to furnish our needs. It would be a rare day that I would pray for something trivial like a request to photograph a particular subject, but He asks us to bring all things to Him; “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6). This is actually a lesson that my children taught me when they were very young. I had always brought the big, vastly important requests to the Lord in prayer, not wanting to waste His time with small, inconsequential things. Our girls brought everything to Him in prayer, big things, little things and sometimes silly things – or at least that is how it seemed to me at the time. But they had it right because our Father in Heaven wants us to depend on Him and rely on His grace to supply our needs.
Matthew 7:7 reads, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” We seem to make this much more complicated than it really is. The system He has set up is pretty simple, we just need to keep our lives in His will, and be obedient to His commands. At times the answers He gives to our requests may not be what we had in mind, but they are what He has determined to be best for us. When just need to have the faith and confidence that He knows what He is doing.