Learning from Dead Hens
Three days ago our hens died.
Our two, beautiful, white leghorns.
One headless on the path. The other – gone amidst a trail of white feathers.
A fox broke in.
We are always so diligent in closing the run every night and making sure they are safe. My husband was careful to close the run that night too. The only problem is they were still out enjoying the warm evening so he accidentally shut them OUT instead of in, and the fox had a lucky break.
I forgave my husband of course, straight away. It was an accident and he didn’t do it on purpose. We were very sad and every day since when I’ve walked past the empty hen run I’ve felt sad.
We’ve been so busy we haven’t prayed together for the past few days. Today my husband and I had a tiny misunderstanding that under normal circumstances we would have laughed and forgotten all about it. Instead it felt like I’d invented World War Three, and we hardly spoke to each other all day, and we’ve had a miserable day. Tonight we had a chat about it, cleared up the misunderstanding and I realised what a rotter I’d been to my beloved husband. I also realised the reality of the Scripture:
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
In all sincerity I truly believed I’d forgiven my husband. I know I must forgive him, and I did. I told him it wasn’t his fault, that we all make mistakes, and he didn’t mean to do it, and it was OK. He felt so bad about his poor hens I tried to encourage him as best I could and helped him forgive himself.
But inside I was seething with anger and didn’t even know it. When the first little incident happened and it annoyed me – BOOM!!! Mount Vesuvius erupted and everything was blown out of all proportion and a molehill became a mountain.
I just love the Scripture
Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
It has been one of my favourite scriptures since YHWH taught me over many years to stop playacting and putting on a show for people; to speak the truth in love and to live the truth outwardly and inwardly as I have learned to love truth in my inward parts.
Something else YHWH has taught me over the past few years is the importance of not sharing my opinions with people who have not asked for them. I don’t always succeed but I am trying very hard to learn not to put people right or try to correct friends and family if I think I have a better idea, unless I am asked for my opinion. This is a very difficult thing to do, but I am working on it.
I believe if I had ASKED YHWH for His opinion about my heart condition after the hens died He would have told me how angry I was. That if we had prayed together about the death of the hens I would have known immediately that my attitude was wrong and I would have had the opportunity to put it right in my heart. Instead my heart deceived me into thinking I had done the right thing when all the time anger festered away.
Sometimes in His mercy YHWH shows us unpleasant things about ourselves even when we don’t bring our hearts before Him on a daily basis, and we are given the opportunity to face up to the truth about ourselves and to put it right. I believe YHWH loves me enough NOT to have told me my heart’s condition this time, because I have to learn to ASK for His opinion.
Without fail, every time, without exception, YHWH answers our hearts’ cry when we come to Him with sincere pure hearts desiring His truth with a willingness to change when we realise we are wrong. He is faithful and loving and full of compassion for His children who have this treasure ‘in earthen vessels’. All we have to do is ask Him, to come before Him, to present ourselves as a little child before Him.
I thank Him now that I have learned from our two dear dead hens, and I press on, with my dear husband, knowing that both YHWH and David love me and have forgiven me, but that we need to guard our hearts, know our frail humanity, and the power of prayer.