Anxiety and depression do not have to be our only option. We have another choice. But the truth is
Stress and suffering are inevitable.
We hate to hear it, and the truth hurts sometimes. But that doesn’t change the fact that we can’t be removed from stress and suffering forever. No matter how much we try to avoid it, it will catch us now and then.
The game changer, the tipping point, or the deal breaker is found in how we react to it. What we do with it when it comes our way? Lately, I’ve had some eye-opening examples of stress from my chicken coop.
Egg Full of Life
When a chicken lays an egg, that hen squawks and squawks, carrying on like there’s a skunk in the coop. The sound is quite alarming. To the novice listener, an eminent danger must be threatening the chickens. “It’s just a hen laying an egg,” I’ll explain. But it is stressful for the hen. On a few occasions, a hen will leave some blood spots on the eggshell as she delivers.
Any woman who’s delivered a baby can relate to the stress and suffering of a hen as she lays an egg.
I did it . . .
three times . . .
In the middle of each one, I said, “I’m never going to do this again.”
The only reason I can figure out why I did it 3 times is . . . God.
God gave me forgetfulness.
That has to be it. No one in their right mind would volunteer for that kind of stress and suffering over and over. God had to make me forget it . . . because I’m really not the masochistic kind.
Nevertheless, late one morning I went out to feed the chickens and gather the eggs. That’s when I found something strange. I was puzzled about how it happened. How it got in the coop? What was it exactly? I found this strange diminutive egg in with the others. Take a look for yourself. It is pictured here with regular eggs.
I brought it in the house with the others, washed it in the sink, and placed it in a bowl on top of the others (I didn’t want to lose it under the big ones). For days I walked by the bowl wondering about that egg, even asking God about it. “What’s up with that egg?”
Then one day after asking God one more time, a revelational thought occurred. Why not Google it?
So into the Google space I typed, “Why does a hen lay a little egg?” And the answer popped up (Side note: a cool video of a “miracle chicken” that lays ginormous eggs also came up).
This tiny egg is called a wind egg. It’s sort of a real egg, in that a regular laying hen laid it and not some strange mysterious bird. It has a real shell and a real white. But there is a big flaw. There is no yolk. It is void of that which produces real life. I read that a hen lays wind eggs because they are stressed. Here are three of the most common wind egg situations:
- A young hen under the stress of change may lay her first egg as a wind egg.
- An older hen may lay a wind egg due to the stress of being older.
- And a stressed laying hen may occasionally lay a wind egg.
As in the case with eggs, stress and suffering is inevitable.
Two different outcomes come from stress and suffering.
- They can bring forth life and purpose or
- They can produce a shriveled, shrunk existence that is far short of really living.
Yet, the outcome is our choice.
- Do we deal poorly with suffering, becoming bitter, complaining, empty shells of who we were meant to be?
- Or do we handle suffering with faith–trusting God for the adventure that is our life–and really live?
The choice is ours. Will we be a wind egg? Or will we be an egg full of life?
How do you deal with stress and suffering? How do you avoid becoming bitter? And How do you find purpose in suffering and gain a richer life?