FEATHERS AND CHAINS

Precious. That describes her. Ellie is our white Sultan hen. She is a bit…spoiled. She is the most gentle hen we have had…actually, she is the most gentle pet we have had, period. She makes sweet sounds when she is confused and makes sweet sounds when she is happy. Ellie is, indeed, as sweet as chickens come.

We noticed that Ellie was a bit different than the other hens when we first brought her home last year. She and our new silkies were separated from the rest of our flock for about a week to ensure that there were no diseases or sicknesses. From the first day in her temporary pen with the silkies, she showed us that she was unsure of who she was. In fact, on day one she would lay an egg. Day two she would begin to crow. Once she and the silkies were placed with the rest of the flock, however, the crowing ceased.

When we had brought Ellie home we also noticed the craziness of her feet. She had an extra toe and the rest of her toes and claws were crooked. We bathed her, trimmed her nails and some foot feathers, and she looked much better. Still, Ellie was more reserved than the other hens. She walked slowly, did not forage much, and she did not scratch at the ground looking for bugs. She preferred to be held or to observe the others finding tasty worms and lush green clover. Once in a while she would find some morsels and gently pluck them from the ground.

Over the months, Ellie became very dependent on us…well, me. (There is a reason for that). Her precious ways have always called out for me to carry her along with me while I do yard work. Her mere presence begs for me to snatch her up, cuddle her, and show her some extra attention. When she and the gals are free ranging, she has always lingered near my feet or waited for me to “assist” her with difficult situations…like stepping over a mud puddle so that her pure white feathered feet did not get dirty. When the coop door was opened in the morning and the rest of the gang excitedly ran down the ramp to freedom, Ellie would wait at the entrance door for someone to pick her up and place her with the rest of the flock.

I will admit, my inability to resist her cuteness had caused me to unintentionally teach her to become somewhat incapable…so I thought.

Recently, I noticed Ellie limping. Concerned that it could be a cut or bumblefoot, my pet expert of a daughter did a thorough foot exam and determined a clean bill of health. So we tried something else. A more dramatic foot feather trim. We had always known that the feathers on her legs and feet made it somewhat difficult for her to walk quickly and scratch the ground. It was now getting to the point where a more dramatic feather trim was inevitable.

Needless to say, Ellie’s lack of confidence had been no lack of confidence at all! Her desire to be assisted in difficult situations was not her inability to cope with life. All she had needed was a simple tool to help. “Feathers B Gone” was just the thing she needed.

We often think ourselves incapable or unable to be all that God has called us to be. We don’t think we are bold enough, mature enough, or knowledgeable enough. You know, those needless interferences or obstacles that have you believing that jumping over that mud puddle is an impossible task. Maybe a past failure, a past relationship, or a past decision. Maybe a personality trait, an endless to do list, laziness, or a nagging health issue. Whatever that obstacle may be there is a truth to be found in scripture that could ease your mind and set you free.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

While this verse officially lies in the context of generosity being encouraged in us, it remains true for all areas of our life. In ALL things…at ALL times, and having ALL that we need…God has given us the tools to be effective in our walk, victorious in our walk, and able in our walk. Too many times we allow something I like to call “junk” to stand in our way. When all the while, God has equipped us more than enough.

What is it that is keeping you from the abundant and influential life you were meant to live? Is it a lack of self value or is it merely something tangible standing in your way. Allow Christ to weed out those obstacles. Give him the permission to snip away those feathers…those chains…holding you hostage to the ground.

With Ellie, it was cumbersome feathers meant to add beauty and warmth to her scaly feet and legs that were actually holding her back. Once the feathers were trimmed and she was set on the ground, she instantly became the confident hen she was intended to be. She now walks with no limp, forages with no restraints, and leaves the coop with no reserve. Maybe a feather trim is all you need.

Blessings!

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