Well, I have exciting news. My morning devotion this morning was attended by 7,000 others. It was a packed house. Sadly, they were all hens and roosters. I locked myself in the chicken house by accident this morning and had to do a fair amount of praying while sitting on a bucket waiting for help. It was "Survivor" chicken house style.
If you haven't heard, our family now owns Triple Cross Farms, where we care for 27,000 chickens, and gather their eggs. It was a complete act of God that opened the door for us to receive this beautiful home, farm, and business. He has been working out the plan and details step by step over the past year and half. We had no idea where we were heading, but the journey was an amazing one that I would not have wanted to miss.
As I sat on the bucket this morning with hens pecking at my rubber boots, I sort of wondered if God and I weren't both having doubts about me being here. The morning started out a 5 0'clock am. Apparently, some of God's creatures do stir that early, though I am not generally one of them. (God can confirm this.) So the hour itself was one strike against me. The second strike was the fact I took NyQuil at 2 am to help me sleep. Next time I am going to remember to dose the chickens too, so we can all get some extra sleep.
Half conscious, half sick, and half sedated , (see even my math doesn't calculate that early), I stumbled to the chicken houses to feed the chickens. I am assuming most of you have never been in a chicken house with 7,000 chickens. The houses run 500 feet long. The water troughs run down the center of the house, suspended from the ceiling. The controls are on the right side of the building. This information is important to the next dramatic part of my story.
When I went in, I walked down the wrong side of the building to get to the controls. I had a choice- walk 500 feet around to get to the right side of building, or crawl under the water lines.
Those of you who know me, know the only thing worth walking out of my way for is a good dessert, or a good buffet.
SO I chose to get on my hands and knees on the ground, in the wood shavings and you know what else, and crawl under. This is when I encountered another problem. Ever since the very first time I walked in a chicken house, I have chosen to wear men's size 13 rubber boots. I do this in hopes of intimidating the roosters. (It's odd how what seems so rational in my mind, looks so stupid on paper.) If I thought walking around in oversized boots was hard, crawling was even more so. Every time I pulled a knee forward, my foot slid farther out of the boot. I would then slide my knee back to replace my foot back in the boot. After a few moments of alternating this procedure between both legs, it dawned on me. I was getting nowhere. I was shuffling my legs back and forth digging a trench I was now getting caught in. Both boots then became wedged under me, as I struggled to retrieve the boots, and keep my face out of the wood chips.
But that was not my greatest struggle. I was now face to face with the Roosters. They are magnificient creatures when you are looming over them. Face to face, not so much. They descended on me, much like I was deep fried and in a bucket. I was pecked and scratched while I clawed my way out of the trench,to the other side of the building, beating them off with one boot and a sock.
I should mention, our chickens are usually wonderful, tame, and non- agressive, but they are also creatures that panic and freek out over any abnormal, out of the ordinary object, or behavior. A 280 pound, hyperventilating woman crawling around on the ground waving a boot, falls under that category. The chickens had dinner and a show. It was not a performance I wish to repeat. (There are 7,000 others that agree.)
After the harrowing battle at Chicken Run, I was ready to head back to my bed. As I tromped to the door through the haze of chickens feathers and airborne dust, I dreamed of a hot shower, and my warm bed. But life can be so cruel, for as I turned the knob nothing happened. It was locked. I pounded, cried, and rammed the door, begging to be let out. A 7,000 voice choir joined the song behind me. "Please, let her out!" they squawked in unison.
But I succumbed to my fate and sat on a bucket to await my knight in shining armor riding in a pick up truck to rescue me. " One word from him, and I'm throwing myself under the truck,"I muttered to myself.
Maybe today, you're having a rough start. What should be an easy and smooth task has turned into a monumental undertaking. I have to ask did you forget your key? Not the key to any wooden man made door, but the key to Heavenly provision and power-the key of Prayer. We can be right where God would have us to be today, but without that Key, we are powerless and purposeless. We are trapped in the right time and place but it's purpose cannot be fulfilled. How many days of purpose have I lost because I failed to use the Key of prayer to unleash God's power in each place. What would the Cross have been without Gethsemane? What would the Day of Pentecost have been without the Upper Room? What is a church without an alter, or the Temple without the Holy of Holies? Without prayer our lives are stages awaiting great performances, arenas awaiting magnificent exploits, and blank pages awaiting a written masterpiece. None can be accomplished without God, and the world may never see or read them without prayer.
Prayer. One little Key can unlock so much. The absence of one little Key can keep us trapped in so much. Can you hear the 7,000 "amens" behind me?