Many years ago on the farm, we had chickens for eggs to sell to the neighbouring farms and African Guinea Fowl to grow for meat. This African bird has all brown meat.
I was usually able to find a Guinea hen’s nest, and I would wait patiently for the eggs to hatch. The problem was that as soon as the chicks were hatched, mom would lead them to the hay field of tall grass and clover. The little ones could not survive the cold of the dew and the lack of scratching for grubs and seeds.
So, I watched the Guinea hens to see which one was laying eggs, wanting to nest, and I devised a plan. When there were 12 eggs in the nest, I went into the henhouse and looked for a brooding hen to set on the eggs. I transferred the eggs to a five-gallon pail full of hay or straw to within four or five inches of the top. I set it in a pen in the barn and put the hen on the eggs. Each morning, I would feed and water the hen. The eggs hatched 28 days later.
The hen would lead her little family to the barnyard to raise. They would scratch for seeds and grubs. Mom would cluck to protect them if she saw danger. The chicks would listen and run and hide under the hen.
Jesus gave us this gentle picture when He cried over Jerusalem:
“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37b NIV)
New chicks just peep for attention, but they do not stay tiny for long. As the chicks grew older, the language of the African Guineas changed to their true nature, from “peep-peep” to “buck-wheat”. The poor mother hen could no longer recognize and communicate with her chicks. The hen was put back into the henhouse with the other hens, and the chicks spent their days with the Guineas.
I could not change the nature of the chicks even by putting them in the company of a hen that normally laid eggs to sell. This principle is the same for God’s children. Keeping company with believers does not change our nature before God. We become believers by putting our trust and faith in the person of Jesus Christ, Who died for our sin on Calvary.
Barnyard chickens do not spend much time together in a group, but they are continually talking to each other. They are always on high alert watching for each other’s welfare and sounding alarms if danger is near, such as a hawk, eagle, or mink. Likewise, Christians are admonished to watch out for each other’s spiritual welfare, and warn of impending danger, ensuring that our walk matches our talk:
“Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 NLT)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for ourselves, family, friends, neighbours, and even government officials, that You would keep our words sweet and Christlike, and that our walk would match our talk. Thank You for Calvary. Amen.
Copyright © 2021, by Ruth Rowe <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission