Ever since Floyd, our beloved Polish rooster was killed by a hawk, things have changed a bit. Chicken free ranging time has become more supervised. A more securely covered chicken pen has been built. And overhead predators have become more daring.
Just yesterday I could be seen shooing off a group of seven stalking birds of prey while screaming my hawk holler and flailing my floppy hat to the sky. I am almost positive the beady eyed feathery foes squawked a taunting laugh at me before they took their swarming party elsewhere.
As if hawks were not enough to watch for, an eagle has entered the expansive sky picture. An eagle? Yes. An eagle. Although there was a feeling of shock and awe from seeing this beautiful freedom flyer soar over our yard, I could not help but feel the sinking sensation in my stomach. Our duties as chicken supervisors had just been taken up to a whole new level.
“They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.”- Nehemiah 4:8-9.
If you aren’t familiar with the book of Nehemiah here is the jist. Jerusalem had a temple but there was no protection for the city from further attacks from surrounding enemies. Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to gather a construction crew. Within 52 days, the walls around Jerusalem were built securely causing their enemies to lose heart.
This feat was not completed, however, without bumps and bruises along the way. Enemies of the Jews made many attempts to stop Nehemiah’s efforts. These efforts included taunting Nehemiah and his crew. Through Nehemiah’s prayer the enemies were angered and planned to attack. In this verse, the Jews prepare their defense by posting guards on the wall. Ultimately, the plan to attack was thwarted.
You know what it’s like don’t you? You have set in your mind that the life you are living will be one of joy. The life you are living will be one of Godliness. Then it happens. The taunts. Maybe they come from co-workers. Maybe they come from family or friends. Maybe they come from the pesky whisper in your ear that the wall you are building will come tumbling down the moment it is built.
Get used to it, my friend. These foes to the faith will always be there. Our enemy, the devil, does not want you to build your wall of faith. He does not want your wall of defense to come to completion. Do what Nehemiah did. Pray and watch. Stand and guard.
So, although the chicken pen keeps our flock safe from predators, that pesky fact of limited free ranging remains. Until we can invent an invisible wall around and above our yard to protect the flock, floppy hat supervision will have to do.