Hey guys, this is J. M. Farro, JFH's resident devotional author, for those of you who don't know me. I'm a wife and mother to two (sometimes) grown-up kids, who have since flown the coop. I can't quite say that my husband, Joe, and I are empty-nesters, though, since we have our hands full raising two very large and active domestic ducks. Right now, our female duck, Lily, is sitting on her nest of eggs. What she and her mate, Larry, don't realize is that those poor eggs will never hatch. As soon as they begin to look "ripe," I remove them from her nest and discard them. Some people think this is cruel, but I've got good reasons for doing things this way. My husband and I can't provide for a whole family of ducks, but we still want Lily to go through the sitting process. If we don't allow her to do this, she will continue to lay eggs year 'round, and she'll most likely develop some serious nutritional deficiencies and die. We know this is so, because we lost our first two female ducks this way.
The weather has been hot, and it's been difficult for me to watch Lily confine herself to her stuffy little house, and go without food or water for many hours at a time--all for nothing. When I'm tempted to put a halt to this seemingly pointless routine, I force myself to picture our females, Daisy and Katie, and how they died. I tell myself often, "This is for Lily's own good," and in my heart, I know it's true. Still, sometimes it hurts to see all the tender care and handling that she gives her beloved eggs.
I can't help thinking about how many times the Lord must watch us struggle with things that cause us hurt and heartache, knowing that in the long run, we will reap some benefit from them. I have often cried out to God in my confusion and pain and heard Him speak to my heart--"In the days to come you will understand all this." (Jeremiah 30:24 NLT) The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I realize how true this is. Perhaps you are in a difficult place today, and you have questions of your own. Let me encourage you to put your trust in God--believing His precious promise to cause all things to work for your good! (Romans 8:28)