We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all. ~Hebrews 10:10
When my eldest daughter was eleven, she decided to keep chickens. We took her to our friend’s house in the country to handpick three hens. Along with two healthy-looking ones, she chose a third that had no tail feathers. I asked if she was certain she wanted to buy that one. She assured me she was. Later, when I asked her why she chose that particular hen, she told me she felt sorry for it because it was getting pecked by the others, and she wanted to rescue it.
For a long time, it appeared as if nothing would ever again grow on that chicken’s unsightly, raw back end, but a little over a year later, that hen grew beautiful, full feathers on her formerly exposed derrière. The previous lack of plumage made its unexpected appearance even more beautiful.
There are times when (excuse the upcoming word picture) our lives might look a little like that chicken’s bottom: barren, raw, ugly and seemingly ruined for good. Even though our lives may appear permanently damaged and show no signs of improvement, just like those missing feathers, it too can be made whole and beautiful again. And when it happens you appreciate it even more.
We may look and see barren ruin; God looks and sees room for growth. We may see ugliness; God sees the makings of beauty.
It’s a bit like my daughter peering in the chicken run and intentionally selecting a damaged chicken out of the flock. God looks at the wreckage of our lives and thinks we are worth saving, worth being set apart, and worth nurturing.
We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all. (Hebrews 10:10)
It’s because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we get a second chance at life – both here and now and in the life to come in heaven.
Even so, as we walk with Him day-to-day, there may be times when we feel barren or come up against a situation that rips out a few “feathers” until we question whether our life will ever bear the resemblance of beauty again. It can be unnerving – even disheartening – to see bald patches, but somehow, despite that we never thought it possible, God takes the ruin and makes beauty once again blossom.
Don’t despair if you life is looking a bit barren. It just might be the fertile ground needed for new growth!
And remember this:
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)
May the barren places in your life once again blossom and flourish!
- What is your barren place right now?
- Pray with thanksgiving that despite how it appears, God is making beauty even though you cannot see it yet.