I raise chickens for a living. A man of God taught me that raising chickens is one of the jobs that a servant of God can engage in without compromising his faith. Here, you don’t deal with the tax man or the policeman. You are free as a bird!
Now, raising chickens has many challenges. For me, however, none used to drive me half as mad as a hen with newborn chicks. The same hen who used to rub herself against me as I fed her, the same hen who would jump away from me whenever she sensed that I wanted to catch her to give her a vaccine; this same hen, once she had newborn chicks, would turn into a lion! By the time she and I came to an understanding that all my interest in her barn was to feed her and her little chicks, I would have suffered quite a number of scratches and tears on my body.
When I first began raising my chickens, this state of affairs was a real challenge to me. But I responded to their ‘aggression’ with equal force. Coming from a tribe which does not allow a man to be challenged by another man – forget about that coming from a woman or child – I decided that I wouldn’t let a mere chicken intimidate me. But a hen with newborn chicks is fiercer than any tribe on earth. So my duel with my hens would end with a stalemate, so to speak.
I wish I could say it was the other way round but today, in perspective, I am ashamed to say that, with all due respect, it was I whose IQ was lower than the hens’. It was my heart also that was more twisted than the hens’. I am sure God in heaven was shaking His head in disbelief – disbelief at my blindness. For, I came to understand, what drove the hens to do all they did was… love! It was love for their little chicks that drove them to fight me off.
The hens had never held any grudge against me. But when they sensed that I was a threat to their chicks – which was the only interpretation they could get from my intrusions – they immediately came to their defense. At that moment, it did not matter whether I was stronger than them or not. Their love was far much stronger… far stronger than anything.
That is the love that God had for us when He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us.
It was the love that our Lord Jesus Christ had for us when He accepted to come and die for us.
It was the love that the early apostles had when they gave their lives to be buffeted and ultimately killed for the sake of Christ’s church.
It was this same love that the early church had when the Bible declares:
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” (Acts 4:32)
The early church followed the example of Christ, who followed God the Father.
How about us? The foremost of the early apostle, the Apostle Paul, tells us:
“1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Eph. 5:1-2)
What is it that drives us? Is it anger? That is the emotion that is closest to us when we come against any resistance to our will.
But… only love should drive us, the love that is as strong as the hen’s which has newborn chicks. The love to die for another.
That little hen would put most of us to shame. Let us beware lest, when we get to heaven, that little hen will be brought to judge us.