Today is my day off from my job outside the home, which means I have a million things to do at home. So, instead of sleeping in, I got up early to get started and like many other weary mommas, I sat right down with a cup of coffee and began to have my devotion time. Both help me get ready for my day.
So, right about the time I get settled down, I hear a ruckus from our chickens. At first I frowned and thought to myself, ‘Crazy chickens! It’s too early for all of that!’ I went back to what I was doing, trying to focus. Staying focused is one of my greatest challenges. I can so easily become distracted if I don’t guard against it.
That’s when the squawking became frantic and I knew something was amiss. I paused long enough to call out for two of my older teens and as I ran in the direction of the chaos, grabbed a wooden walking cane that was near the door in case I needed to knock something away from the hens.
Teens right on my heels and hens still squawking up a storm, I cautiously entered the chicken yard noting that the gate had not been securely latched. The hens were on top of the henhouse and were frantic! The enemy was gone and after counting, hens were missing.
After firmly closing the gate, we searched around for the missing hens and found no sign of them. We all knew those hens were lost and because of an unguarded moment, the enemy, a sly fox, had managed to get in the henhouse.
My almost immediate thought was of that old song, ‘Shut ‘de door, keep out the devil!’ And that of course led to thoughts of a spiritual nature and spiritual lessons.
One of my favorite books in the Bible is Nehemiah, especially chapter 4 which accounts the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. One of the things I always point out is the great opposition the rebuilders, the repairers of the wall faced. They were scoffed at, mocked, humiliated and at one point a critic actually scathingly said, ‘That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!”.
Nehemiah was not to be deterred! He knew what God wanted done and he was determined to do it. He posted guards, he gathered families, he had rubble from the past cleared, and finally, it is even recorded that the workers had a hammer in one hand and a sword in the other.
So, there is our lesson from today’s homestead adventure and Nehemiah. Don’t get caught off guard! Yes, focus on the work at hand. No, don’t be paranoid. But whatever you do, take time to be prepared and protect what matters to you. Shut those doors (and gates) so the enemy can’t slip in unaware. Go ahead and do the work that needs doing, but also be ready for battle.
Is that really necessary? Yes, it absolutely is. If you wait until the attack has begun, like I did this morning, you may be too late to save the situation. And what we are fighting for, what we are trying to rebuild, what we are trying to protect, is a lot more important than a few hens.