We currently have five hens and two roosters on our farm property. For many months, we received enough fresh eggs from those five hens for two families. Usually 3 or 4 eggs per day. We almost never purchased any eggs at the local store.
Then, sometime around the end of September, the eggs stopped coming. The hens seemed fine. I still fed them “egg layer” food daily. But no eggs. Or very rarely one or two. Was it old age? Was it “chicken change of life?” Was it something I said or did not do? Was it colder weather?
Our son suggested: “It’s the decreasing amount of daylight. Put a light on a timer in the hen house. It will trick the hens into thinking longer daylight hours continue. The extra light will get them laying again.”
“Huh?” I say quizzically. “No way! Does that really work?”
But I complied. I put a light in the hen house and set it to go on for 3 hours after sunset in the evening and 3 hours before sunrise the next morning. I waited. At first, nothing. No change. Then, after about 2 weeks, suddenly egg production resumed! I was amazed. We “tricked” the chickens into laying more eggs! I always had heard that chickens had small brains; but this was an unusual phenomenon!
To add insult to my pride, when we lost electrical power in the chicken coop for about 4 days, they stopped laying again! Until power (and light) resumed.
Is there a parable here in this season of Epiphany? When we walk in the always abundant light of Jesus of Nazareth, we are more productive. The light that outshines any darkness (John 1:5) gives us unimaginable energy and hope.
One definition of epiphany reads: “A moment in which you suddenly see or understanding something in a new or very clear way.” That’s a fairly good description of where I am right now—perhaps with chickens, but mostly with the good news of Jesus. I see Him more clearly, and that clarity gives light and energy to my life.
I can always use more light. And I am convinced that Jesus brings more light to life than any other expression of God throughout history. Others may bring some. But Jesus brings an amazing blaze of light. I pray that I can bring leadership and example to that reality throughout all my days.
May Epiphany bring you all the light you need for all the days ahead.