Something terrible happened last night. A predator attacked my chickens.
Full disclosure: last night I failed to close the door to the coop. I remembered at 11 pm when a storm came through. I said a brief prayer asking for protection.
This morning, I discovered the truth..
The emotions came quickly.
Horror. Sadness. Guilt.
Then anger at God. “Why didn’t you protect them when I asked you to?”
God can handle all of our emotions. I’ve learned to unload them on Him so I don’t take them out on anyone else.
He whispered, “Let them all out. It’s ok. We will talk when your emotions have calmed down.”
I was still mad at Him. “God,” I railed at Him, “why does everything that I enjoy get ruined for me? Why do you not answer my prayers? Don’t you even hear me?”
“Job was righteous and things still happened to him.” He said.
“That doesn’t help.” I wanted to stay angry. “Why do you always need to teach me a lesson?”
Holy Spirit remains faithful. “To a teacher, everything is a lesson. I did not cause this to happen. You live in a fallen world, and sometimes bad things happen to good people. But the real question is: How are you going to respond?”
I took a deep breath. I chose praise even though I didn’t feel like praising Him. “Thank you, God, for the life of Lucy and the other chicken. Thank you for the joy she brought. Forgive me for my negligence. Is there another lesson you want me to learn?”
“Yes! Why did you open the gate on the chicken yard?”
“Because I wanted them to experience freedom.” I replied.
“That’s a worthwhile reason. However, freedom is good, but it must be balanced with wisdom.”
He continued: “Think of the chicken enclosure as my rules. They are to keep you safe. You have a predatorial enemy out there. He is intent on stealing from you, killing your joy and destroying you. You have to remember to close up the areas in your life that have been left unprotected by your negligence. Then the enemy can’t access you.”
I thought about His words and began considering other vulnerable areas in my life where I need to close the gate against the predator of my soul. I have to be diligent against the attacks of the enemy and not leave any access in the name of freedom. Freedom must be balanced with safety.