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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Why an egg?

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad." (C. S. Lewis) The truth be told, many of us are actually trying to fly while still in the egg! We want escape from the developmental process occurring in which we feel a little bit like we might just be "trapped" inside the shell. The egg's mission is not to confine us, but to provide all we need while confined so that we emerge strong and prospering, ready for flight! If we stay inside that protective shell too long, we find the nourishment we need for continued growth begins to be depleted - until we escape the confines of the shell, we don't find what we need next for our continued growth.

You are the gentle equalizer: soaking the furrows, smoothing soil’s ridges, softening sun-baked earth with generous showers, blessing the fruit of the ground. You crown the year with a fruitful harvest; the paths are worn down by carts overflowing with unstoppable growth. Barren desert pastures yield fruit; craggy hills are now dressed for celebration. Meadows are clothed with frolicking flocks of lambs; valleys are covered with a carpet of autumn-harvest grain; the land shouts and sings in joyous celebration. (Psalm 65:10-13 VOICE)

If God is able to soften the hardened soil of the desert lands to bring forth growth,what make us think he will not be able to bring forth growth from the soil of our hearts?  Barren places in our life have access to the greatest amount of nourishment needed for growth - but we might just not recognize the ways God is brooding over those areas to see them "hatched" into newness of life. The embryo of growth always starts as a single cell!  No growth within is ever without his purposeful provision and watchful brooding. 

Flight isn't the end goal while confined to the egg. When the embryo begins to take form, the tiny chick inside the egg doesn't even know it wants to fly yet. As growth begins to push against the hardness of the shell, it does begin to realize it wants to get beyond the shell! The shell confines, but at some point, it also challenges the little chick to yearn to spread those tiny wings that have taken form. The shell has done the job it was intended to do, and once it has outlived its purpose, it must be shed. 

The brooding hen will tenderly care for the growth "within" the eggs until she senses the readiness of the growth to be free of the shell. At that point, she encourages the chick to come out from the shell by spending a little less time sitting at roost upon the egg and a little more time allowing that egg to be exposed. It might not be much time, but that tiny change in the "temperature" of those eggs might just encourage their next phase in growth. I think this might be to encourage the chick inside to find the way out - to push with tenacity at the shell which is no longer serving a purpose and from which it wants to be free. 

The shell might seem a little confining right now in your life, but never forget the purpose is to "house" us within a protective environment prepared specifically for our growth and development. Once we begin to grow "inside" that environment, we will begin to sense when that shell no longer is necessary - but to escape too early is almost certain death to the growth occurring within. Once outside the confines of the shell, our wings are still not developed enough to fly though. We need a chance to run, build our strength, feed upon the goodness of what has been provided, and then eventually we will explore flight. 

We want to fly the first time we get the urge to fly - sometimes inside the shell, sometimes newly "exposed" and eager to explore the newness of growth we have experienced. Either way, we will do well to take growth at the speed God intends - to rush it is almost certain to destroy the growth or result in repeated failure. Just sayin!