Last night I heard one of our chickens get taken by some wild animal and I did the only logical thing I could think of to do and ran to hide my head under the covers until my husband could go survey the damage. We’re down to two chickens now. I forgot to lock up the chicken run after the kids were in bed, and now we only have two.
The guilt kept me awake as I listened to the severe storms roll in overhead. I refreshed and refreshed the radar until my eyes were stinging dry. Violence overhead, violence in the coop, violent worry in my heart.
This morning when I woke, the ice started falling from the sky. The trees hung heavy with the dazzling weight, and then a different kind of thunder started sounding in my ears. Branches fracturing, splintering. Heavy limbs crashing down to the ground- all noise and ice and broken wood. The trees have open wounds. More violence. I’m feeling sore.
There is a gentle kind of pruning, and then there is a violent one. But whether clipped cleanly or ripped off raw, it is promised as GOOD for those who trust God. The earth is refreshed by rain, the trees push forth new growth, the animal kingdom births new life. And even in our human sufferings, our most painful prunings, we are refreshed and re-grown and renewed, if we will but trust that He is working.
I had a conversation with God while I hid my head under the blanket last night, heart all a’pounding, chicken terror ringing in my ears. If I TRULY believe He is sovereign over all things, and ALL things work together for my good, does that even include… right now? Right this very moment when I’m guilt riddled and gutless and hiding under a blanket? When I should have run out brave in the storm and frightened off the creeping things in the dark? Are you sovereign even over something so minute as my chickens? My fear of the building clouds? The creaking branches of these trees I love?
It almost seems to bring God down too low when we think of His hands in the muck of our lives. There is an awe and a mystery in the thought of God Almighty knowing exactly which branch would fall and which chicken would become another animal’s sustaining meal. Even more incredible, he knew where every drop of moisture would land this morning and the exact moment it would freeze. And even more than that, He knew every proton and neutron and atom and quark in every thing here last night and over the whole earth and since the beginning of time. He is the sustaining power that holds all of these things together and in order, even down to a level we will never see with our most powerful of microscopes. And even beyond THAT, He is holding every single fiber of the billions of galaxies and giant masses in the universe together in perfect harmony, all the swirling, flying things in all the expanses of the sky… not one is flung off its perfect course apart from His conscious knowledge.
God in the smallest details of my life is not a belittling or demeaning thing when I think rightly of Him, when I fully surrender to the completeness of His power and His love and care for me. Oh, it is quite the opposite! God in the mucky details is acknowledging His everythingness! His All-ness! His came before-ness! Is there anything more honoring than that to the One who created it all from nothing?
As I hid under the covers and wondered how on EARTH something as yucky and gory and seemingly unimportant as Bertha’s Final Cluck could be under His command and used for my ultimate good – I, the one who should have taken the care to lock the gate but forgot that responsibility – I was amazed all over again at His Grace. He invites broken, fretful, forgetful people like me to know Him and proclaim Him. Even my humanness can’t stop His ultimate good plans! Nothing can! I may not understand why things happen the way they do- the big things or the small things- but I do know this for sure: All of my uncertainties in this life are swallowed up in my certainty of HIM, who never ever fails or changes.