I learned something from my chickens yesterday.
We have a portable chicken pen out in our garden. One end has a small roof for shelter, and this roof opens up so we can feed and water the chickens. Every once in a while the chickens will be disturbed about something (moving the pen, a barking dog or a lawn mower), and before I can get the door closed one of them will fly out.
A very strange thing happens at that point. You'd think the chicken would just head for the trees at top speed, but as soon as its feet hit the ground it stops. It looks around and realizes it is no longer in the pen... and as I walk toward the chicken it runs... directly back to the side of the pen. It looks longingly through the fence at the other chickens... and it begins to get rather frantic. As I approach it to catch it, it starts to run back and forth at the fence, or around the corner of the fence, trying to find a way back inside; the poor thing has no clue how to get in, but it doesn't want me to catch it.
Because the chicken stays there at the fence it is not too hard to catch. I get my hands on the bird, grab it so my hands are holding its wings tightly to its body, and hold it close to me. Immediately the chicken calms down and sits in my arms, sometimes even resting its head against me. I talk to it gently and place it back in the pen where it belongs and it wanders off to do whatever it is chickens do all day.
Yesterday as I went through this routine I found myself sympathizing with the chicken. I feel a lot like that hen that I was catching... like somehow I got outside of where I am supposed to be and I am running up and down the fence line, unable to get back in. I desperately need for someone to catch me and put me back where I belong... yet I can't seem to do anything but run away. When will I learn to be still and let the Master catch me and hold me and comfort me, then put me back where I belong?
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him, do not fret… Psalm 37:7
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 47:10
©Rebecca A Givens, 06/2009