The Pecking Order of Life

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“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.’” —Luke 15:25–32, ESV

Here on our farm, my husband and I see a definite pecking order among the wildlife and also among the farm animals. We have a bird feeder in our backyard, and there are bully birds that chase all other birds away so they can keep the birdseed for themselves. In nature, animals seem to be selfish, not wanting to share their food.

This is true, almost without exception, apart from mothers feeding their babies.

We have chickens who fight over the cooked oatmeal we share with them.

There is no thought of stepping back and letting another chicken eat first.

We have one crippled hen that we have to keep separated from the rest because she would never get enough to eat if left with the other chickens.

Each one for themselves—with no thought of sharing.

Our sheep, likewise, crowd each other out for their hay and grain.

Like the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11–32, life can seem unfair.

We can work hard with seemingly little reward.

We do not know the end from the beginning nor the reasons for God allowing bad things to happen in our lives. We do not know how situations will end or what God will help us to learn from our mistakes and choices.

Many things in life can seem confusing and unfair.

If you feel discouraged today, please do not lose heart.

Paul reminds us, “Do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16, ESV).

Our momentary troubles will achieve results that far outweigh them all.

Let us leave the pecking order to God and trust Him with the circumstances that come our way.

Marcella Lynch

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