Recently, we have been studying Matthew 7:7 where it says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”. On an event-packed, fellowship-filled vacation to the Wilkes’ a few weeks ago, we had the perfect opportunity to apply and experience this verse.
Early on Saturday morning, April 28, most of us Staddons and many of the Wilkes Team piled in the van and drove to the small but wildlife-abundant Huntley Meadows Park. Located in Fairfax County Virginia along the Potomac River, the park is an extraordinary sanctuary for birds and reptiles alike. We asked God to bring by an abundance of wildlife and then we started seeking for them.
It was the perfect morning for birdwatching! The sun was just coming up when we arrived and the birds were already active. Slowly and quietly we hiked through wood and marsh on trail and boardwalk, stopping to examine everything with binocular and camera.
It was amazing all the wildlife that God brought by! Early on, Donald identified all kinds of sparrows, sandpipers, and waders. The Glossy Ibis, Northern Waterthrush, and Snipe were some relatively hard-to-find birds which everyone, especially Donald, was excited to see. Later in the day the secretive American Bittern ventured from it’s hiding place for just enough time for us to examine it before vanishing into the vast forest of cattails and weeds. Other birds of interest were the White-eyed Vireo, Least Sandpiper, and Wood Duck. Over the entire morning, we saw or heard no less than 45 different species of birds.
As it turned out, it was a good reptile-watching day too. At noon, the sun came out from behind the clouds and all kinds of critters came out to warm up. We saw many frogs, toads and turtles which were relatively common but still exciting to see. Then, to top off an already-successful day, we found a beautiful Eastern Ribbon Snake which many of us had never seen before.
As I look back, I am surprised how amazingly close the animals came for picture-taking. We had received what we asked for with our lips and found what we searched for with our eyes, but I am convinced that God also “opened the shutter” for what I had “knocked” for with the camera.
Thank you Wilkes for making this memorable excursion possible!