While I have done my share of rabbit hunting, being a southerner, I have done a whole lot more (ra)coon hunting. My father in law owned numerous coon hounds, including more than one named Ol' Blue. I also grew up listening to Jerry Clower and his tales about the Ledbetters and their various hound dogs and coon hunting exploits.
Thus, my story was adapted from one titled “Have You Seen the Rabbit?” as posted on the website of Duane Savaya at: http://www.godswork.org/emailmessage539.htm. His story reads as follows:
One day, a young disciple of Christ desirous of wanting to become all that God had for him visited the home of an elderly Christian. He had heard that this old man had never lost his first love for Christ in all the years he had known Him.
The old Christian was sitting on the porch with his dog stretched out before him taking in a beautiful sunset. The young man posed this question:
“Why is it, brother, that most Christians zealously chase after God during the first year or two after their conversion, but then fall into a complacent ritual of church twice a week and end up not looking any different than their neighbors who aren't even Christians? I have heard you are not like that. I've been told that you have fervently sought after God throughout your years as a Christian. People see something in you that they don't see in most people who became Christians. What makes you different?”
The old man smiled and replied, “Let me tell you a story. One day I was sitting here quietly in the sun with my dog. Suddenly a large white rabbit ran across in front of us. Well, my dog jumped up, and took off after that big rabbit. He chased the rabbit over the hills with a passion.
Soon, other dogs joined him, attracted by his barking. What a sight it was, as the pack of dogs ran barking across the creeks, up stony embankments and through thickets and thorns!
Gradually, however, one by one, the other dogs dropped out of the pursuit, discouraged by the course and frustrated by the chase. Only my dog continued to hotly pursue the white rabbit.”
“In that story, young man, is the answer to your question.”
The young man sat in confused silence. Finally, he said, “Brother, I don't understand. What is the connection between the rabbit chase and the quest for God?”
“You fail to understand,” answered the well-seasoned old man, “because you failed to ask the obvious question. Why didn't the other dogs continue on the chase?
And the answer to that question is that they had not seen the rabbit!!! Unless you see the prey, the chase is just too difficult. You will lack the passion and determination necessary to keep up the chase.”
Have you “seen the rabbit”! By this I mean have you truly caught a glimpse of Jesus Christ? If you ever do, it will change your life forever! Saul of Tarsus did while he was on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians. And it radically changed his life! Forever! In the ninth chapter of the New Testament book of The Acts of the Apostles, we read:
1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
This Christmas, if you are looking for a gift that will truly last, why not ask God to give you a fresh glimpse of Jesus Christ? Remember this one thing, though… When He does (and He surely will), be prepared to have your world turned upside down!
Scripture source: http://biblehub.com/niv/acts/9.htm.