Sometimes I feel like I am not really that valuable and useful and wonder if people would miss me if I were gone. I love it when I see something that happens in my daily routine of doing chores that speaks to me that I can share with others to help them. Jesus gave us stories that gave meaning in life. Hopefully this story will speak to you.

My wife and I have a large backyard in the country right outside the city limits. Each year I have to prune my fruit trees and put the branches in a large burn pile that is surrounded with wire. The burn pile location has been there for years and the ashes are several inches thick. We also have 5 dogs that enjoy running around the backyard and occasionally chase and bark at the chickens for fun. The chickens don’t think it is very fun to get barked at and chased. Chickens will roam throughout the yard and use their very long claws and scratch at the dirt looking for bugs to eat. Sometimes the rooster will find a bug and crow. The first hen to hear the rooster and get to the bug gets the yummy treat. The rooster will crow from time to time to announce where all the hens are. Hens sometimes will go to the coop to lay their egg and after laying the egg, will announce they have accomplished their daily job and the rooster will crow to let it know where everyone is.

One day I heard the dogs barking at the burn pile and I went over to see what the commotion was all about. I then noticed that a hen had found a small opening in the wire surrounding the burn pile. I couldn’t just pick up the hen because she had wiggled through the branches to where I couldn’t reach her. I went and got my branch loppers which are like big handled scissors used to cut tree branches. I worked very hard at chopping away at the branches to get to the hen, but the more I chopped, the further she scrambled deeper into the burn pile. She cackled in fear because right outside the wire were all the dogs barking at her and the rooster was crowing in another part of the yard crowing to the hen telling her where the rest of the hens were in the yard.

Finally after spending quite a bit of time chopping and chopping and my arms getting sore, the hen found an opening in the thick pile branches and clawed and flapped her way up to the very top of the burn pile just sitting there exhausted from the whole ordeal. I then went around to the outside of the burn pile, and picked up the scared hen, tucked her under my arm, and walked with the dogs wildly barking all the way to where the rest of the hens were in the yard and placed her safely down.

What I got out of this experience is that sometimes we get into an area that is dangerous. The burn pile represents hell. I was about to set it on fire. The rooster is like the pastor of a church crowing out the location of where the family is and where everyone is to be. I represented God who chopped and chopped with great effort to rescue one hen who was acting very dumb scratching in a deep pile of ashes where there would never be any bugs. Sometimes we stray and look for things where we are never to be. We get deeper and deeper down the road and realize we can’t get out. God comes along and spends great effort to rescue us but we are not looking at Him or if we do see Him, we are afraid of Him and run the other way. We get deeper and deeper and more and more afraid. Then with great effort we see another way out only to find we are somewhere that we have to be rescued. We are all beat up, worn out, and here comes God who gently picks us up and caries us under His arm and safely puts us down with the rest of the family.

God cares so much that He will spend great effort to rescue us when all the time, He wants us to be with the family where it is safe. He will carry us when we can’t walk anymore. What a great God we have!