God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28
My husband and I have four chickens on our little suburban farm. They are our “Covid Babies.” I’m not really sure why we decided to get the chickens back in March of 2020. We knew nothing about taking care of farm animals. But like starry-eyed parents carrying home their little bundle of joy from the hospital we eagerly packed up our four baby chicks in a box and left the dusty little farm store behind. We got four, instead of the two we originally planned, because we aren’t allowed to have a rooster in the city. It was our insurance plan. If one or two grew up to be roosters we’d have to “do away” with them.
And here we are more than a year later with four giant chickens in a fairly small coop. Henny Penny, Mabel, Grandma and Goldie don’t seem to mind. They grew up snuggled in close and seem to enjoy each other’s company. Each day we go out to the nesting box in eager anticipation of fresh eggs and we are rewarded. But what does that have to do with praising God?
Today, as I look out my “She Shed” window and watch my four egg making creatures peck and sleep I can’t help but be amazed at the plans and gifts of God. In the beginning He created the animals and plants prior to man. He prepared a place so perfect for us humans to grow and prosper. The chicken is pretty much God’s perfect animal gift to us. It is an egg laying machine. Left to wander they drop eggs wherever they go – fertilized or not. It’s a daily gift of food, not just for humans, but other animals should they be so lucky to encounter a free roamer.
When we got our baby chicks we read all the books about how to care for chickens and how to train them up just right. Having trained a puppy just a year prior I was ready for the task. And yet, when the time came to put them out in their “Big Girl Coop” they needed no human intervention. At night they headed to their protected beds. By day they hid away in the appointed laying space. All by instinct. All by God’s design. It’s pretty amazing.
When we remove the concept of God the Creator from our lives and look at the world from a random point of view the danger is in placing humans and animals on equal ground. But since the beginning of recorded time humans were appointed by God as protectors and users of Earth’s resources. God did not make a chicken to simply lay hundreds if not thousands of eggs in her lifetime just for them to be unused.
If you’ve ever been around a chicken in the midst of the egg laying process you’ll hear something interesting. When the deed is done, she will often squawk loudly in triumph. My chickens don’t hang around protecting that egg from me. In fact, it’s almost like they are saying, “here, have another!” And each warm egg I pull from the nest is a reminder of our God who has gifted us with all we need.