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As I threw open the door, the confusion behind the screeching noise in my backyard became clear. One of my hens was fighting for her life — inside my dog fence.
I raced outside, gathered her up, wrapped her in a towel and headed for the garage. The wounds were pretty nasty, so the decision was clear. I needed to put her down. Yet amazingly, when I placed her in a box with food and water, she gobbled up the food in a record pace. So instead of “ending it,” I decided that as long as she was willing to fight for her life, I would as well.
I kept her secluded in a box in my laundry room (yes, I’m one of “those” people). Over the next few days, each time I placed something tasty in her cubby, she ate voraciously. However, she refused to drink.
I changed out the water a couple of times, thinking there was something wrong with the container. I finally resorted to dribbling water over the edge of her beak so that she would have some sort of liquid. I tried Gatorade, blueberries, grapes — anything to get liquid into her body. I knew water was her greatest need for healing, but she just continued to refuse my help.
Finally, after several days of diligent and frustrating care, I jumped on my bike to relieve stress. I talked to God all the way down the driveway about the hen (yes, I’m one of “those people,” too) and how tired I was of putting forth such effort, only to have her refuse the very thing I knew would help her heal. I said — out loud, mind you — “Lord, I’ve done everything I know to encourage her to drink. I just can’t get her to drink.”
Then, I “heard with my heart” the gentle, yet correcting voice of the Lord speak: “I know that feeling.”
My heart sank, for I knew immediately what He meant. My struggle to care for this bird, my family, my church, my home — all of that “busyness” had cut into my time with Him. I was spiritually “dehydrating” myself by not “drinking deep.” Oh, I continued to catch a sip of refreshment from my “Verse of the Day,” but what I really needed was to be nourished by time spent with Him, drinking from His Word. His life-giving, thirst-quenching, ever-satisfying Word.
Isaiah 55:1 says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!” Oh, how the Father desires for us to drink! Oh, how He desires to nourish us and refresh our weary souls with His life-giving water!
So, I guess the response is clear: Come! Come to His life-giving, thirst-quenching, ever-satisfying Word and drink deep!
Prayer: “Father, I love how You love me, how You know what is best for me. Even when I refuse Your care, You gently and continually lead me back into your presence. Thank You, Father.”
Steve and Belinda Kirk write the “Everyday Grace” devotional for the Johnstonian News. Reach them at 919-449-5745 and firstname.lastname@example.org.