Typically you can count on Brian and I drinking coffee after we put the kids in bed. Not so tonight. Tonight initiated me into my first time of giving antibiotic shots. Sixteen of them to be exact. On our newly acquired chickens who apparently are sick with a respiratory virus. (Next time I’ll be more discriminating.) A lengthy process for newbies. Brian held them while I sanitized the injection site and played around with needles and rubber capped bottles. Good fun on the farm. Every now and then a chicken foot would escape and kick ferociously at the air. They’ll be as good as new in about seven days. Or so I am told. Unless I did it wrong…
In reality, there should have only been 15. But one week ago Esther and the boys came home from the hospital after eating a deadly mushroom. After lots of prayer, and I do mean lots of it, they came home without so much as a symptom. Praise God. So life went on. We got sixteen chickens a couple days later. One died the next morning. Leaving us with 15. In my attempt to remove the chicken from the coop, I dropped it. Since it was dead it didn’t hurt it. But it was a bit of a shock to the kids as they watched it drop like a sack of potatos to the ground. Eww! Look at it’s eyes! Don’t touch kids! Maybe I should have been a bit more discreet? Life lessons. They have to learn them at some point, right?
Anyway, I told the kids to go back to the house while I took it to the opposite side of the field and dropped it over the fence. Later that night Esther and I talked about death and the pets we have lost. I talked about her and her brothers and how they could have died from eating that mushroom too. But Jesus is more powerful than death, and although they ate that mushroom he had a plan and purpose for each of them so he said, “Not today! Esther, Micah and Gabe are mine.” She was convinced that Jesus was going to heal this chicken too. So that night she prayed for the dead chicken’s healing.
(Context: A day or so before the chicken died and we had this conversation I had ran across a word someone had given me about Esther before she was born. That she would walk in the miraculous and bring people to Christ through her prophetic words. I had began to pray into this again.)
Now, when I bought these chickens I counted them twice. I got 16. The guy who sold them counted them twice. He got 16. When Brian helped me unload them, he counted them. He got 16. Brian and I counted them again when we locked them up later that night and there were still 16. So when one died, there were 15. Easy math. Couple days went by and we locked up the 15 each night.
I took Esther on a mommy daughter date Sunday evening to pick out her new school supplies for preschool. (My big girl!) On the way home she asked me what death was. So we talked about it again. We talked about the pets we had lost. The dead chicken she saw a couple days before. And how Jesus is more powerful than death. That he died and then rose again and now has power over death and that only he decides when a life ends. How she ate a deadly mushroom but nothing bad happened to her because Jesus said so. I told her she had a story to tell and that if anyone is sick she can tell them her story and how Jesus wants to heal them too. And if they want to, she can pray for Jesus to heal them because Jesus loves everyone and doesn’t want anyone to be sick. To which she said, and Jesus will heal the chicken? (I paused and thought about the chicken who had likely turned into a coyote’s supper days ago and decided to stick to my story. Because I believe it.) So I said “Yes, Esther, Jesus is more powerful than death. And if he has a mind to he can bring back that chicken.” She prayed for it again that night. That chicken had been dead for 3 days now and for three days we counted 15 chickens at night.
The next morning dawned and I noticed the chickens weren’t looking so good. It was confirmed they all had chicken respiratory disease and some had it worse than others. But we had to do something quick or lose them all. So we began their first rub down with some kind of essential oil blend. I put each chicken on the roost and then counted each one as I applied the medicine. There were 16. Sixteen? I must have counted wrong. I counted again. Sixteen again. I looked at Brian and said, “Count them I must be tired.” He got 16. Hand on each one we counted again and again each time getting 16. Dumbfounded I said, where’d the other chicken come from?
I knew my daughter was still praying each night for the dead chicken’s recovery. I never dreamed God would do it. I don’t know why. But here’s what I think: God is raising up a little girl and planting His truth deep into her heart. He saved her life on Monday. He called out her purpose again on Wednesday. She wrestled with the meaning of life and death for three days and on day seven she saw another miracle of how God is more powerful than death and he hears our prayers. Faith of a child. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
I’m happy to have my chicken back, but I’m more happy to see God grow my daughter’s faith. I believe she is a fierce fire and is walking in God’s plans for her already. What an honor to be her mommy and watch God do his thing in the lives of his kids.
Now we just have to keep doctoring the miracle flock until they get better.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you: God raised a chicken from the dead. A chicken!! He cares so much more about you than a chicken. I know several of you are needing miracles, and I know some are right now fighting for life, be it yours or someone else’s. Jesus is more powerful than death. He is Creator. He can recreate what has been lost. He can heal. He can raise anything from the dead. Stand on the promises that have been spoken over the life you are fighting for. Call forth the destiny God has ordained according to Ps 139:16. God has a purpose in your life and He remains in control. He will see you through because He loves you. He is the God of miracles and if you invite him in There Will Be Miracles.