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A Mother Hen

-Deuteronomy 31:6 (NCV)" Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid of them and don’t be frightened, because the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you.”

-Psalm 17:8 (NCV)" Protect me as you would protect your own eye. Hide me under the shadow of your wings.

Over the last several years my family has taken on the adventure of raising chickens. We’ve usually kept around 10-15 with one rooster. It’s been fun watching them grow from little chicks to full grown hens. Anyone that knows about chickens knows that meal worms are like catnip to them. My hubby loves having chickens and soon has them trained to come to him just with a shake of the meal worms bag. Also, if you know anything about chickens you know that they usually don’t like to be held, let alone resting on their backs, but my girls soon had a few of them trained to just lay there and be content.

For the most part our chickens haven't been broody, and we get eggs daily, but then one year our mama hen, Queen to the rooster and second in charge, decided she was going to stay on some eggs. We watched daily wondering if anything would come of the four eggs, she was sitting on but nothing happened for a long time. Then suddenly one day when our youngest was taking care of them she came inside all excited. Sure enough, out of the four eggs one had hatched. “Oh boy, now what do we do?”

But no need to worry, mama hen had it under control. Over the next several weeks we got to experience the awesomeness of God firsthand. We saw how mama taught baby to eat by first breaking the food into smaller pieces then dropping it on the ground in front of baby. We got to see her train baby how to jump to each roosting post to get into the nesting boxes. We saw her teach baby how to defend itself from a frontal attack. And best of all, we watched every night as she gently tucked baby under her wings, to keep baby safe from everyone and keep baby warm. Mama wasn’t the only attentive one in the coop though. While baby was still young, we’d often find papa not far away, ever watchful of baby’s comings and goings, and for a while after baby was born both papa and mama slept close together. Finally, after a time we were able to call baby "Elvis" and not long after his little crow, following his papa’s loud crow.

Unfortunately, with a small flock of chickens we only could have one rooster and although a child of theirs, Elvis began acting on instinct like every wild animal and the roosters fought. We had to say goodbye to Elvis but have been forever grateful for the experience we were allowed to witness.

Papa rooster was a great rooster and we were allowed to witness another great experience of God’s goodness. Papa rooster was very gentle with us and we knew he cared for his flock of chickens. Whenever we tried to pick up any of them, they squawked, and he was right there ready to stop us until we reassured him with our voices. If outside the coop he paid attention to them and if he sensed danger, he’d corral them under the trees. If in the coop he’d rush them inside while making enough noise for us to go, see what was happening. We lost him one summer while he was defending his ladies against two hawks, but we’ll always remember him.

Both stories will always remind me of God’s goodness, love, and power. It’s awesome to see how He created animals with such instincts, to know how to teach their young and protect their family. Just like Matthew 6:26-34 say, “If God takes care of the birds how much more important are, we to Him that He will care for us”.

Watching Guinevere (mama hen) protect Elvis under her wings reminds me of how we are protected under God’s wings (Psalm 91:4). Bad will happen but God is taking care of us. Watching Nick (papa rooster) leading and protecting his flock reminds me of how great our God is. When we let Him into our lives, He will always lead us the right way (Psalm 31:3) and He will always be our Protector especially against the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

So, let’s learn from the chickens and let God into our lives. Pray daily and always be watchful, God is here if we just let Him in.

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