Question: What do storms, chickens, wood chips, and tree trucks have in common?
Answer: We are weak!!
Tuesday Afternoon: Busy on the back porch planting peppers, herbs, and peas into egg cartons, Peter came scurrying in from gathering eggs extremely disturbed. With tears beginning to form in his eyes, he mumbled something about the chickens being locked out, trapped, and stuck. Seeing his demeanor was not typical for him, this mother dropped what she was doing and quickly headed to the chicken coop with him. Approaching the chicken coop, my eyes fell on three chickens stacked one on top of another within a small 4 ½ to 5 in gap between our side fence and the coop.
That was my first conclusion. Trying not to express to Peter my first thoughts of death despite him already thinking they were, I paused and waited to see if I could see any sign of life from the chickens. Yes. At least one was breathing. Quickly I moved into the pen. Reaching one arm into the gap, I tried to grasp the top chicken and pull her out. Drenched because of the rain from the morning and not much wiggle room, it was a slightly difficult job. With perseverance, the first chicken became free. Next, the second one was rescued in the same manner. The chicken on bottom was none other than our Goldie. She is a Buff Orpington and bigger than all our other chickens and has a pretty fluffy coat. Since she was on bottom and is larger than the others, it was a little more difficult to retrieve her. She was wedged in pretty good. However, I was eventually able to set her free.
Thursday Afternoon: Our family is taking a different approach to gardening this spring after watching a film called Back to Eden (highly recommended). In order to implement this we must acquire wood chips. This is not necessarily a hard thing to do since most tree trimming companies give their wood chips away for free. They are always looking for a place to dump them close to where they are working so they do not have to waste their own time and money traveling to the landfill. We already had a huge truck dump last Thursday and still needed 2-3 more loads. Wednesday night we saw a smaller tree trimming truck enter our neighborhood and Scott hopped in the car and “went after it”. He gave them instructions and Thursday morning they showed up on our door to confirm. When they came back in an hour, I went outside to help guide them as they backed into our backyard. Everything was going smoothly until the truck, just 15 feet from the spot we wanted to have the first load dumped,
Yep. The truck was stuck. The ground was still too soft from the rains on Tuesday morning to support the heavy truck and the result was a stuck truck. Two hours later and a yard rutted up pretty good, the truck was free.
I have tried to be more conscience when unusual or uncommon things happen around our house as to what it is God might want to show me through them. He did not fail me this week. As I walked back to the house with Peter on Tuesday afternoon God reminded me of how much we need Him. The chickens went to bed on Monday night just like they always do and woke up on Tuesday expecting to do the same thing they always do. But what they didn’t expect was a storm to come and blow their door shut to their coop preventing them access to shelter. When they discovered they could not get into the coop, they ran to the only spot they could find. Trampling each other they tore out each others feathers and got stuck.
Are we not the same way? Each morning we arise, get ready for the day and half-heartedly ask God to bless our day, if we do at all, and then head out the door all the while not foreseeing the storm that is brewing a few hours later. When the conflict arises at work, or the pop quiz is handed out, or the children begin to misbehave, we head for shelter. We try to squeeze into the 4 ½ to 5 inch space as we hide in our office, glance over our shoulder onto our neighbor’s test, or promise the children a treat instead of running to God as our protector. We end up doing more damage to ourselves than if we were to immediately seek God for guidance. When we finally do seek after God, He does rescue us and give us a way out, but the damage is already done. Yes, God does provide us with healing, but the scars are still left as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to heal and a reminder to us to seek Him first.
After the truck left on Thursday I went back out to examine the damage. I never dreamed the ground was not strong enough to stand up under the weight of the truck. From the outside it looked as if it could withstand anything.
Are we not the same way? We go about our lives with everything under control. We convince ourselves and each other that our lives are great and we do not need any outside help. Yet when something comes along that tests our strength we crumble under its weight. It is only then that we cry out to God for help. Yes, He rescues us from the weight of the circumstance, but the ruts are still left behind as a reminder of God’s strength to free us and a reminder to us to allow Him to sustain us.
This week we experienced two totally separate events, but God impressed one lesson on my heart.
We are weak!!
We need Jesus to rescue us and lift us up when we are stuck.
My Heart’s Prayer: “LORD, I seek refuge in You; let me never be disgraced. Save me by Your righteousness. Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly. Be a rock of refuge for me, a mountain fortress to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; You lead and guide me because of Your name. You will free me from the net that is secretly set for me, for You are my refuge. Into Your hand I entrust my spirit; You redeem me, LORD, God of truth” Psalm 31:1-5. Lord, help me not wait until storms come to seek after You. Help me not pretend to have everything under control, but to rely on your strength to sustain me. You are my God and I rest in you. In Jesus Name, Amen.