Friday, December 6, 2013

When I Wasn't Looking

Well, our “chicken sitting” came to an end on Sunday.  It wasn’t at all like I had expected, mainly because there were only 6 fowl in the flock that we tended to over the holiday weekend. 

For the most part I only went along for the drive to keep my husband company on the long dirt roads. 

On the last day of our schedule, I realized that I wasn’t getting the “full” experience of tending the animals and that’s when I took part in the “feeding of the flock.”
What Comes to Your Mind?
When I think about feeding a flock, I picture sweet little ducks or chicks the same way I do cute little lambs.  Nice, friendly and loving creatures that anxiously await my arrival.

Is that what you have in mind as well?  Maybe not, but then you are probably more versed in the behavior of chickens.  If not, believe me some can be “foul.” (pun intended)

It made me wonder what Jesus thinks about His flock … I can imagine He isn’t always as happy with us either. 
From our behavior it might appear that we were underfed in the Word of God and scattered in our thinking.
What Does It Take to Feed A Flock?
Actually, it doesn’t take a large amount of seed, food or water to maintain a chicken, but it does take a steady regular diet for a bird to stay healthy.  

Twice a day we took a road trip out to Chris’s farm to care for his animals.  With a few chickens, roosters and a feral cat I guess it really isn’t called a farm, but it will do for now.

On the last day of our chicken experience I made my plea to my husband about being able to feed the animals.  He was happy to indulge me.  Thinking back I wonder if he just wanted to get a laugh out of it.

After we arrived I followed my husband into the chicken’s housing unit.  It isn’t a coop so to speak, but half of a converted shed that accommodates the birds.  He directed me to where the feed was and what to do.  Even though I had been watching him all week, I really wasn’t paying that much attention to what he was doing, but spent time looking at the surroundings.  It was so quiet and peaceful way out in the country.

Without a care in the world I scooped up a can full of scratch mix feed and walked out to the open pen area to where the birds were.  Happily I scattered and tossed feed about the ground watching them run and peck at the fresh food.  I felt like a little kid having a good time while playing in the field, talking and making noises to the animals (as if they were holding a conversation with me).

The can was empty and so I turned to leave the pen.  As I walked and talked my husband let out this extremely loud shout.  “Hey!!!” followed by a growling noise.  I had no idea why he did that, but Miss Kitty ran for the hills and so did the roosters.

Leaving the gated area I asked him why he yelled.
He was coming after you.”  “Who?” I asked.  “That rooster…he was about to attack your back.” 
Being a bit skeptical I asked, “Why would he do that?”  He was informed by the owner that these guys have a habit of it and we were to be cautious when feeding them.  Now he tells me!

Before I was out of the pen the scripture we have been studying popped in my head.

“For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.” (Psalm 5L12 NKJV)

Immediately joy overflowed in my heart. “You were my shield of favor!” I blurted out to my husband.

When We Aren't Looking

Have you ever stopped to consider how many times a day you could have gotten into a scrape and didn’t realize it? 
I know that there have been plenty of times I was in danger when I called on the Lord to bail me out of a situation, but there are probably more that we don’t about, I’m sure.

I knew the roosters were there, but didn’t regard them or think I was in danger.  To me, they were just chickens … cute little birds that weren’t a threat.  Until that day I wasn’t aware that they often attack from behind.

Isn’t that like satan?  We forget that he is around and always ready to do us harm.  He will try to catch us off guard or even attack from behind leaving his marks across our backs.  Although I thought I was in a place of safety, God already knew in advance that my “innocence” over chicken behavior would place me in the path of danger. 
Why Adam named these creatures chickens is baffling to me, because there certainly wasn’t anything “chicken” like in their behavior.

A Steady Diet of God's Word
Due to the fact that I had been feeding regularly on the scriptures, God’s Word was effective in my life that day when I wasn’t looking to see what was happening around me.   

Before I ever entered that property the shield of favor was already encamped about me through previous prayers.

The Lord placed my husband in the opposite direction of where I was standing so he would see the rooster coming after me for the attack.  Normally he would have been standing right beside me like he did all week, and would also have been a target for attacking.

God’s favor shield was present and He used my husband to carry out His Word.  It may not seem like a big thing to anyone, but if you have seen the photographs and read the documents on how serious a chicken attack is, you’d understand.

Throughout the upcoming week take time out each day to thank God for His shield of favor that delivered you from danger when you weren’t looking.  Like David we can say with confidence:

God’s grace, goodness and unmerited favor of mercy follow me all the days of my life. (from Psalm 23:6a )
Surely goodness and mercy lyrics, israel houghton
A Dance of Joy

Celebrate the favor or God. I’ve never done the “chicken dance”, but just might as a reminder of how blessed and favored I am by the Lord.  I watched this to learn how.  They seemed to be quite joyful ...
Chicken Dance at Wedding

... and yes, there really is a chicken dance kids championship!
2012 Desert Classic Chicken Dance Championships - Kids Ballroom Dance Video

Until next time, praise God for His protection of favor!


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Image credit if not listed by Google Images Creative Common License
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by
Gateway Bible

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