I have a new batch of chickens in my pen. These tiny girls are about six weeks old and it never ceases to amaze me the lessons I learn from my little flock. I didn’t raise these chickens the way I did the first six. The first six started out in a Rubbermaid tub in my living room. We were so enamored with the soft, fluffy day-old chicks, that we handled them every day. The kids would reach in and scoop them up, like a person would a new puppy. The first six chicks were pets.
The new chickens are not pets. They spent their first few weeks in a dog kennel under a lamp for warmth. I would poke my head in a couple times a day to check the temperature and water level. I only picked a chicken up every now and then, when I wasn’t in a hurry to finish my chores. When I did, they would run from me and I would have to real-quick grab one of the fluffy little girls. As soon as they were ready to spend time outside the brooder I only checked once a day. These chicks don’t know the warmth of my hand.
Now when I go to check on the chicks they do the same thing as they did when they were little: run. They have a little cubby hole they like to sleep in that I had affixed their lamp to when they were younger. Now, even though the lamp is gone, they still run for cover in their little hole. The little box I built for them feels safe. They remember the warmth of that spot but they do not know that the warmth they experienced there was provided by me.
Only after I have laid the food and water on the ground do they slowly inch toward the vitals. I can stand there and watch them gobble up the food but they don’t want to be near me.
Do they not recognize that everything good in their life comes from my hand?
My hand is strange to them… They are familiar with the instruments I use in their life: the box, the lamp, the water feeder, the food… but they do not know that it’s from me. I sit there some times on a bucket turned upside down. I watch them… loving them from a distance.
Their feathers are coming in nicely. Only a few have a little bit of fluff hanging on. For the most part they look like grown chickens, only smaller. They remind me of a boy I know who has the same freckles on his nose that I did and beautiful hazel eyes… just like me. I know boys aren’t supposed to look pretty but I think he is just adorable. There is something instinctive about loving someone who looks like you…
IT’s a pleasure to watch my flock grow. I am not your average chicken farmer. I don’t just like them for what they give to me. I love them because they are beautiful creations and I find that God has given us some beautiful things to look at in this grand picture he is painting. My chickens are a bright spot there.
The chickens don’t reciprocate… not even like a dog when the master comes home… No, but I love them all the same.
And isn’t that how we are… We walk through this life eating up all the food God gives us… snuggling down in the shelter he’s provided, without even a thought as to where it comes from. Even if we do recognize that EVERYTHING GOOD in our life comes from God, do we even take a moment to thank him? Do we even take a moment to sit at his feet? IF God is anything like this special chicken farmer, all he wants is for us to draw near to him….
Maybe, just maybe, we are too unfamiliar. Maybe we do not know His hand. How can we run for the warmth he has provided and not know that it’s from him?
Maybe my chickens are just looking at what they can see- eye level… Maybe they only SEE the feeder and they never look up long enough to see me…
Maybe I am just too busy running after the things I want from God: a nice house, good food, good friends, air conditioning on a hot day, heat on a cold day… maybe I just want what God has to offer me and I eat it up before I can ever give a thought to it…
Unless of course the things I want are missing.
One day I came into check on the chickens and strangely enough they met me at the door. The older chickens do that, but these little ones never had. I quickly noticed that the water was empty and it was a HOT day. All of the sudden they KNEW they needed me…
That is exactly how we are. We only look to God when we notice our water has dried up and we are dying of thirst.
Oh that I would look for God’s hand on my life and not only his provision. Oh that I would stop looking at what I can only see eye-level. May I look to the heavens and sit at HIS feet and know HIS warmth and feel HIS hand and rest in the truth that the one whose image I bear is right there with me, even when I don’t realize it.