CHICKEN MESS AND OTHER JOYS
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
I learned some of my greatest lessons in the early days of my Christian walk working at B&C Egg Ranch. I can’t think of a much worse job, I was the official chicken mess cleaner upper. I don’t know how to put a positive spin on my title or job description, it was what it was, it was the bottom of the pecking order (no pun intended). I finally came to the conclusion that the Lord would keep me at that job until I could be happy in those miserable circumstances. I have to admit, I didn’t always pass the test, but I think in those eleven months as chicken mess cleaner upper, Christ was formed in me. I learned about humility, I drank from the cup of submission, learned to value the sovereignty of God in all things, and I learned to drink of the cup of joy in the worst of circumstances. I’ll never forget the owners of the egg ranch coming to visit me on the last day of work ( I had never seen them on the property for eleven months). They told me “Son, there is a future for you at B&C Egg Ranch”. I think that outrageous statement is what finished me off, I finally got the joy thinking of the ridiculousness of their words. A. B. Simpson spoke of serving the Lord with joy in menial tasks.
“There is nothing that tells more of Christ than to see a Christian rejoicing and cheerful in the humdrum and routine of commonplace work, like the sailors that stand on the dock loading the vessel and singing as they swing their loads, keeping time with the Spirit of praise to the footsteps and movements of labor and duty. No one has a sweeter or higher ministry for Christ than a business man or a serving woman who can carry the light of heaven on their faces all day long. Like the sea fowl that can plunge beneath the briny tide with its beautiful and spotless plumage and come forth without one drop adhering to its burnished breast and glowing wings because of the subtle oil upon the plumage that keeps the water from sticking, so, thank God, we too may be anointed with the Holy Ghost that sin, sorrow, and defilement will not adhere to us, but we shall pass through every sea as the ship passes through the waves- in, but above the floods around us.”
When you walk in joy that has nothing to do with your circumstances, that brings great glory to the Lord. Any one can show some degree of happiness when they are in pleasant surroundings, only a Christian (or a fool) can rejoice in the chicken pit. Have you found your happy place? Maybe that is why you are in the circumstances you are in now. There is a good chance those circumstances won’t change until you find your joy in the Lord.