I was standing at the kitchen window yesterday morning washing dishes and suddenly I saw a hawk flutter down towards the ground near where my chickens were grazing.
I ran outside as fast as I could to scare it away and check on them and they seemed to be okay –a little startled and afraid though.
I saw them gathered together in the edge of in the woods on the lower part of the field and I tried to get their attention so that I could get them to follow me back to safety. I started walking back up the field, trying to get them to follow me and some caught on, but a few stayed behind in the woods, a seemingly safe place. I tried to get them to follow me with the rest of the flock, but they wouldn’t listen, and so I had to go ahead and lead the rest of the flock back toward their coop where they would be safe.
Once I got them into the coop, I went back to see if I could get the three who stayed behind in the woods to follow me.
I talked to them, trying to get their attention so they would run back with me, but only two of them listened and were led to safety.
I went back again to see if I could run the frightened chicken out of the woods, but that wasn’t working.
Finally she decided to follow me out of the woods and we ran back to the coop where they are all safe and sound.
In that moment it hit me…
These chickens thought they thought they were in a safe place –a comfortable place. They thought they should stay in that place, but I saw something they didn’t see from a different perspective. I saw the hawk swooping down watching their every move, ready to get them when they let their guard down. I saw the danger of where they were staying there in the woods.
I chased after them, talked to to them, tried to get their attention so they would listen and follow me… first through what seemed like more “danger” in the open field as they followed me back to the coop, but then by listening to me and following, this led them to a better place. They had to make the choice to listen and follow me, they had to trust me and follow. They didn’t like it, but it ultimately led them back to shelter where they needed to be.
The ones who made the decision to stay in the woods out of fear and stubbornness (if a chicken can be stubborn, maybe just dumb -ha!) were putting themselves in even more danger –they thought it was where they wanted to stay, they thought it was best, they were comfortable there in hiding–but I knew that I would lead them to a better place, safe from harm. They had to make the choice to be led through a seemingly more dangerous and uncomfortable situation in order to get to where they needed to go. I chased them down, I tried to get their attention, but ultimately they had to decide whether to follow me or not.
Just like these little chickens, we have to make the choice of whether or not to follow the Lord’s leading — do we stay in a place we think is reasonable and safe, or do we trust that He knows what is best and follow Him to a better place? It may not seem logical, it may not seem safe, it won’t be a comfortable thing. We have the choice of saying, “yes” or “no” –only we can make that decision for ourselves.
I will say this for myself –I have lived in both places. I would rather have a difficult day with a challenge I am facing alongside the Lord than a day spent in hiding and not close with Him. He is so good, He loves us so. These challenges bring us close with Him because He’s there with us through every step, cheering us on, leading us to a better place. It’s a precious thing that I am learning to treasure so much.