Iron to Iron


During unit engagement one day, the topic and focus of discussion was “hunting”. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an avid outdoorsman and I relish every opportunity I can to discuss all things pertaining to woods and water. It was after that engagement a gentleman approached me asking me for a counseling session and in that session, the Lord opened a door for a breakthrough he desperately needed.

Men don’t just open up for the sake of opening up.  They open up when they feel disarmed. I realized we needed a retreat for our men that gave them permission to “be men.” We needed to go into the wild, into God’s creation, away from cell service, and do what we love to do, hunt. Then, in that moment, I believed, the Lord would provide an open door for communication and breakthrough.

Why is it that men long for adventure, and battle? Why is it that we love that untamed part of creation?

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7 NKJV 

We are a part of His creation. We were formed from the dust of the ground and the ground is where, as men, we relate.

Every couple of years, I go to the Rocky Mountains and hunt elk with some of my old Security Forces buddies and each time I step into those mountains I feel as if I have come home. I can testify that the most profound moments I have had with the Lord have all taken place in the wilderness.

During a bear hunt in Canada, I remember driving back to camp on my fourwheeler and became so overwhelmed as I came up the hill to see the Aurora Borealis fill the sky.  Mere words could not describe the majesty of that moment.  I got off the four wheeler and I stood there praising God with tears in my eyes. Sometimes, the awesomeness of God can’t be described, it must be experienced.

Texas is one of the most unique places I have ever hunted in the sense that you have so many species to choose from. While on this retreat, we were able to hunt various species of exotic animals. I was able to observe each hunt and noticed each hunt was so different. The hunter was not only searching for his game, but also searching for himself. One of the men was a novice outdoorsman and while on his hunt was conquering one of man’s greatest fears, “Do I have what it takes?” For another, there was a deep need to provide and when the harvest was captured, that need was satisfied and his confidence as a man grew.

As soldiers and hunters, we take life in order to provide something of great value to the ones we love. For our country, sometimes the taking of a life is the sacrifice required to provide freedom. As hunters, the taking of a life is the sacrifice required to provide food for our families and loved ones. It is God who provided the first sacrifice for us as we go back to Genesis 3:21 NKJV, “Unto Adam and unto his wife, did the Lord God make coats of skin and clothed them. This is a foreshadowing of what would later transpire as Jesus would be the ultimate sacrifice for us.

As Iron sharpens Iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17 NKJV 

This retreat, this time away, was so much more than just a time to go, have fun and hunt wild game. As I previously mentioned, men do not just open up for the sake of opening up. They open up when they feel disarmed.  The above verse mentions the very countenance of a man is changed when one Godly man is used to sharpen another. The Lord designed us for community, He designed us for relationships.  First and foremost to get away with Him, to spend that time in His creation, in His presence.  It is also crucial that we take appointed times throughout our year to get away with Godly men. In order for our marriages to thrive we must have those appointed times to spend with those who are wiser, more seasoned believers, mentors who can lead, guide, sharpen and challenge us to be better representations of Christ, better husbands and fathers.

It was during devotion on the last day that we as men, husbands, fathers, and soldiers, made such declarations. In the midst of conversation the trend was the same. We were all either going through something, coming out of something, or getting ready to go into something. A man’s worst fear is whether or not he has what it takes.

The only way to live this adventure is through an intimate relationship with Christ. Discovering as a man or woman how best you can walk with Him in the cool of the day, will strengthen you, sharpen you and change your countenance. When your family sees you they will see Christ and be drawn to you. Your marriage and home will never be the same.

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