Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chicken Yard Living

       Growing up in farm country (Ohio), I experienced being around a lot of livestock and poultry.  One of my great uncles had a chicken yard.  As a child, I thought it was funny to go in the chicken yard and watch them scratch the ground for food.  When my uncle threw some feed on the ground, the chickens ran to quickly grab their share.  My mother was not too happy with me walking around in the chicken yard because it was smelly and there was a lot a little girl could step in!  In addition, there was a bully rooster who liked to chase me around and try to peck me.  I guess that old rooster knew I didn’t belong in that yard.  It is the same in our daily lives too.  We were not created to live a chicken yard life.

     As Christians, we tend to settle for far less than what our Heavenly Father has provided for us.  After all, we are now children of the King through our relationship with Jesus Christ.  He paid for us and brought us out of slavery to sin.  However, we do not live like it.  Quite often, we travel through life content to just scratch for food.  We allow the “bully” roosters to scare us away from what little there is for us to find.  Somehow, we come to accept a mediocre existence when we could be soaring with the eagles.

     Much of this is our faulty thinking which can only be changed by reading God’s Word.  After all, it is the manual for living.  In the pages of the Bible we read this in Isaiah 40:31:  “Those who wait for the Lord shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.”

     First, we need to think about what it means to be an eagle.  Here in Florida, we have a good share of hawks, osprey and eagles.  It is marvelous to see them glide on the wind currents high above the ground as they search for food.  Their eyesight is extremely sharp, and they have tremendous strength.  Eagles do not scratch for their food on the ground like chickens but rather, they search for fresh game to feast upon from on high. In addition, few birds are bothersome to an eagle because when he is attacked he just rises higher and higher where the smaller creature cannot fly.  What an analogy Isaiah has created for us by using the term eagle in the verse above!

     Secondly, we must consider the word “wait” which the prophet tells us to do.  What does it mean to wait on the Lord?  I personally believe it means to pray, meditate on the Word and study it.  Instead of just scratching around for answers to life’s problems like the chickens, we need to wait for the air current like the eagle.  Then, we can mount up with God’s power and soar high above the difficulties we face.  Interestingly enough, the Hebrew word “Ruwach” refers to wind or the Holy Spirit.  When we are empowered by the Holy Spirit rather than self, we can mount up like eagles and soar on the breath of God.

     Unfortunately, many of us waste our time scratching on the ground of life.  We become content just picking up crumbs.  Don’t get me wrong here.  God is NOT our meal ticket to riches and fame.  He does not wait upon us.  We are to wait upon Him.  When we do, He will be the “wind beneath our wings.”  He will satisfy our souls more than anything we can accomplish in this life.

     What often happens to us is that we get stuck in “chicken thinking”.
The world and our sin nature have so thoroughly permeated every ounce of our being that we look for quick fixes.  We tell ourselves that we will find fulfillment when we reach a certain business level, get married, have children or a new house.  Yet, those things will NEVER fill up the empty spot in our hearts.  No, we were meant for even greater things.  Our life is not a series of goals to be achieved.  Each one of us was meant to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  If we are busy scratching for the world’s approval, we are missing the heights for which we were created.  The world offers cheap imitations of love and acceptance, but God offers us the real thing!

     I don’t know about you but I am done being chased around by bully roosters and scratching in the chicken yard.  I want to soar with the eagles and find strength in God.  To do that, we need to immerse ourselves in His Word and prayer daily.  We cannot experience all we are meant to be by living in the chicken yard.  Our calling in Christ is for a higher purpose.  Today, look into the Word and allow God to be the wind beneath your wings.  Selah!

     Father, we desire to wait upon You that we may find our satisfaction and fulfillment in You alone.  This world has nothing to offer us compared with Your eternal riches in glory.  Teach us to think differently and to fly higher by the power of Your Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The picture is courtesy of Jorg Hempel at Wiki Commons.

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