The story I want to share with you is called “The Bag of Chicken Food.” It’s another great story about prayer. “Unbelievable,” is what I know you’re going to say when you see how it all came together. I couldn’t believe it myself.
One morning, I was getting the children ready to go to school. And as usual, we were running late. Emily hurried out to the barn to feed the chickens for me, while Cody and I got everything else together so we could jump in the car and go. But when she came back to the house, she said, “Mama, there’s no chicken food left. I didn’t realize we were out of chicken food.”
I said, “Emily, what are we going to do? Isn’t there some somewhere?” “No, there’s none. We’re completely out.”
It was kept in a big garbage can outside, and she had forgotten to tell me because she would always let me know when we were out.
Anyway, there was no more chicken feed, and we didn’t have any bread to give them. But, because they were free-range chickens, they were loose during the day, and they could get bugs and find all kinds of things to eat. It wasn’t like they were going to starve to death. I had thought right then: maybe God was trying to tell me that being a single mom on a farm was too expensive. Maybe it was time for me to change, that I couldn’t afford to have chickens anymore, that He didn’t want me to live on the farm anymore. Maybe I needed to do something different.
I was a little discouraged to realize I might not be able to afford to keep the chickens. I said to the children, “Maybe I should take them while you guys are in school and get them a different home because it’s possible we can’t afford them.” It was still a few days until payday. I could buy chicken food at that time, but I didn’t have any money until then, and I didn’t want to ask anybody for money to buy chicken feed.
So anyway, the kids were pretty sad. They pleaded, “Oh, Mama, don’t take the chickens to auction.”
I said, “But maybe we should not have chickens anymore. We could sell them and have a little extra money.”
The children replied. “But we love our chickens.”
I didn’t know what to do. Then I remembered what we always did about these kinds of problems: “You know, let’s pray about it.” So that’s what we did all the way to school. We prayed to Jesus together in the car. We asked God what to do about the chickens. Should we keep them or feed them? Because we really did need some answers on how to get food for the chickens.
When we got to school, the class was about to start with prayer. Our dilemma of the lack of chicken feed was the subject of prayer that day.
I drove the long way home on the back road because I wanted time to spend with God, time to think and pray about the situation. Driving the long way home was also intended to give God time to work the problem out for the children and me. It brought me to tears thinking about how impossible it seemed because I didn’t have a clue what to do about our beloved fowl. Even though I didn’t want to think about it, taking them to auction might be the only answer since I couldn’t afford to feed them.
I finally arrived at the big chain gate in front of our home. The gate was securely locked as it always was, so I removed the chain wrapped around it and pushed a remote control to get it open. (The gate was tall and difficult to get over.) The thought kept running through my head, “What should I do? What should I do?” It was still early in the morning when I went through the gate and got out of the 1966 Delta Oldsmobile that I was driving then. I walked up to the front door, and leaning against the screen in front of the door was a 25-pound bag of chicken food.
I couldn’t believe it. I had told no one that we needed chicken food. My neighbors, the only neighbors I had, were next door, and they went to work at 4 a.m., so I knew they didn’t bring it.
I didn’t know anybody on the road who knew I needed chicken food or anybody at school or church or anywhere.
Here is this bag of chicken feed. I tell you, I dropped down on my knees, right there on the porch, and I prayed, “Oh, Lord, do You want me to keep my chickens? Is this a sign? You do want us to live in the country and not go somewhere else. You don’t want us to take the chickens to the auction today.”
He answered everything. But the thing is, I had never seen this brand of chicken feed before in my life. For years, I kept that bag, because I didn’t know where it came from. It wasn’t from the co-op, and it wasn’t from the country store. It wasn’t from any of the feed stores in our area where I bought chicken feed, and it was an odd amount: 25 pounds. No one around our neck of the woods sold 25-pound bags of chick feed, but it was enough to get me through until payday. I’ll tell you, I was so thrilled. I sat on that porch and looked at that bag of food and praised God.
Then I got up from the porch, went out to the barn, and fed the chickens. I couldn’t wait for school to be let out, so I didn’t drive the long way this time but hurried as fast as I dared to reach the school. First, I went to the teacher to let her know of the miracle of answered prayer. Then I shared with the kids how I could hardly believe how God had answered our simple, heartfelt prayers. I told them that when I got home there was a 25-pound bag of chicken food up against the front door, and the gate was still shut and locked. How could anybody get a 25-pound bag of chicken food over a chain-link gate and into a fenced yard? They would have to be a pretty strong person to climb over and drag such a big bag with them. The kids and I decided then and there it had to be an angel that delivered the chicken food that day, because no one knew anything about it, and it never happened again.
We had our chickens for a very long time, and I can tell you that the impact this had on my kids will last forever. And not only for my children but also for the children from their school that prayed with them and for them, it will be a memory not forgotten.
The car was filled with excitement and questions on the ride home.
“Mommy, where did the food come from?”
“It had to come from an angel, you guys, because we prayed and because God hears our prayers.” It was a wonderful example for my children, and I still to this day believe that the angels brought the chicken feed to my front door.