Lessons from a Farmer

Angelia Johnston, Stonepoint Member

The Post Office called me at 6:23 AM last Monday morning and I groggily, yet cheerfully answered on the first ring with, “My chicks!! You’re calling about my chicks!!! My chicks are in right?!?!”  I didn’t give her a chance to say more than a few words before I squeaked out, “I’ll be there as soon as the sun is up!!”

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We recently purchased twenty-nine chicks to put in the coop that Mark (my husband) and I have spent our weekends repairing since we moved to Edgewood.  Who said you can’t nail or screw some type of fastener in petrified, fifty year old wood? Or that chicken wire and 4,000 staples can’t make a hen house secure? The kids and I oohed and ahhed over each furry, LOUD, needy, ditzy ball of fluff as we took them out of the shipping box and put them into a bigger box in our bathtub. I took video and numerous pics, and obnoxiously posted them to Facebook all morning!  The kids and I carefully set up the heat lamp, making sure it was close enough to the chicks for the required heat of 95 degrees they needed the first week, mixed in the electrolytes in their water and their special feed mix sprinkled over their feed.   Spencer (my son) and I carefully dipped each tiny beak into their water bowl and gingerly set them on the dry, warm shavings as we went on to the next chick.  As we set them down, we each bonded to a special chick and even picked out our favorites.  I picked the Salmon Faverolles, (somehow rhymes with Chevrolet) a rooster I picked specifically when ordering for its caring nature, sweet temperament, and quiet leadership of the hens.  It was fluffy yellow with two dark spots on its back. I was always cuddling it because it was sleepy and was always being jumped over, stepped on, and didn’t keep up with the others.

Later that night the kids came running to me and said he was sprawled out on his stomach and not really moving. I rushed in there, and we spent the next few hours taking extra care of him; trying to get him to drink and eat…but we lost him. We cared and provided for him…yet we still lost him.  It was deflating, tiring, and sad. Sheridan, our youngest, later crawled into bed with Mark and I, bawling and exclaiming, ‘if this was what it was going to be like living in the country, I want to move back to Dallas!!’ It broke our heart that she was hurting so much for the loss of a chick she had nurtured, loved, fed, watered, and spent so much time with.

It made me think of how God is, with us.

If our heart breaks at the loss of one, tiny chick we barely knew…what is His pain toward losing us? Consider the care, devotion, and the sacrificial gift of His Son Jesus, and yet we carelessly slap Him away in favor of “doing it ourselves”; and perhaps never knowing Him or, worse yet, being told about Him and His free gift of salvation, but choosing not to accept it?  I can’t begin to fathom the condition of God’s heart when we reject His Son and miss out on His glorious care, grace, and love during this lifetime, as well as the opportunity to spend eternity with Him when this life comes to an end.

The Bible declares that we are so much important than a baby chick, which He even cares for more than we did.

“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.” (Matthew 10:29-31 MSG)

Did you get that? He knows the numbers of hairs on each one of the heads of the billion people through time that He calls His own!!! He clothes, feeds, gives good gifts, talents, family, health, profession, and possessions. What seems like would be exhausting care…is really His exhaustive care.

“God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.” (Psalm 36:5, 6 MSG)

There are those who feel worthless, unworthy, small.

Broken.

Those who think God can’t love them because of past mistakes or because of how messed up they feel they currently are. Jesus came specifically for us, while we are ‘messed up’ and while we’re in our sinful nature. We don’t slip through the cracks under His watchful care.

I may think I’m on the way to being a great farmer…and look; already I’m losing my livestock. I’m obviously not even close…but I am humbly, eternally grateful for being under the watch care of the ‘Great Farmer,’  of being a part of his flock and never being lost.

“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. (John 10:14 MSG)

Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it. It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.” (Romans 10:11-13 MSG)

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