When we see pretty flowers or watch the sun as it beautifully sets, most of us will marvel at how wonderful the creator of these things must be. Since the beginning of time, God has revealed himself to man through nature. In Romans 1:20, Paul writes, "For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, his eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."
It is easy for us to attribute a beautiful scenery to God. But, what happens when the sight before us is less desirable? Are we still able to see God? For author Bradley W. Antill, God has never manifested so clearly to him than when he is in the middle of the sweltering southern summer surrounded by flies, mosquitoes, ticks, bees, snakes, and bears. Antill is a registered forester and has worked in the Atlantic Coastal Plain for 29 years. Through this job that he initially wanted deliverance from, he has seen the plans and purpose that God has laid out for him. He shares the glimpses of God that he has seen through the forest swamps in his book, Side Roads, Snares, and Souls: Deliverance in the Swamp.
In this book, Antil writes essays on nature and faith. He shares his experiences as a forester and reflects on what God is trying to teach him through his work. He connects the dots between what his eyes can see and what God is showing his heart through the creatures before him. In his 29 years as a forester, he has learned how to survive and do his job successfully. It has also taught him about the side roads and snares that can put his soul in danger. More importantly, he has learned to overcome them by continually walking through the "swamp of life" with God.
This swamp, a place that he once considered hostile, became a "schoolhouse" where the creator of all things has taught him about the obstacles and the triumphs of living a Christian life. He has learned that the God that painted the sunset is the same God that colored the swamp and the creatures within it. Through this book, Antill encourages believers to see the beauty of God even in the most unexpected places and assure them that they are not walking alone.
The author has roamed the swamps and timberlands of the Atlantic Coastal Plain for 29 years. He is a registered forester in the states of North Carolina and West Virginia, and a member of the Society of American Foresters and the North Carolina Trapper’s Association. He is also a speaker and teacher to groups of all ages, sharing the wonders of God and his creation.