One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

From Death to Life

Ma’aseh (Acts) 14:22
confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of Elohim.

We raise a lot of poultry for meat and eggs, consisting of chickens and Coturnix quail. These quail are some of the most adorable birds to raise. They are very curious, without fear, and love their master. When one goes into their pens to take care of them, one must take extra caution not to step on them since they are so small and they crowd around your feet wanting to know what you are doing. It can be quite a challenge to work in their pens. If very much work needs to be done, then it is usually best to catch them and remove them from the pen.

Recently we have had lots and lots of rain. On one of those nights we received in excess of four inches of rain. The quail pens flooded and as a result many drowned. It was devastating to us. There were a dozen and a half which were dead when we went out in the morning, floating in the excess water. There was another dozen who, for all intents and purposes, were all but dead. That is, they were stiff, cold, and barely moving.

We had provided shelter in each of the pens for the quail to go in to, to get out of inclement weather. Sadly, the majority of them did not seek those shelters in the time of storm. As a result, some of them perished.

Many times it is the same with humans. Our Creator has provided Himself as a shelter in our times of storm. However, many times we do not seek Him or fail to seek Him as soon as we should. The result is similar; some perish as a result of not seeking the Shelter He has provided in Himself.

We collected all the birds in distress and started up the brooder. We got the hair dryer from the house and had all the distressed quail laid out on a towel. I began drying them as Batya continued working in the pens in an effort to drain the excess water.

The quail did not like the warm air blowing in their faces; not one little bit! But it was this which saved them. Let us pause from our story for a moment and remind ourselves of something from His word. In Hebrew the word רוח (ruach) means both spirit and wind. As I used the hair dryer to blow upon them, they struggled. They struggled to get away from it, or to turn away from it, so the wind was not in their faces. It was this struggle with the wind which brought life back into their cold, wet bodies.

Ma’aseh (Acts) 26:14
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying unto me in the Hebrew language, “Shaul, Shaul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goad.”

Likewise, it is in our lives. As our Master works to direct our lives, even to preserve us and bring us into His presence, we struggle so against His Wind. We try so very hard to move away from His directions, even at times just hunkering down to let the Wind pass over us. If we could only see what it is that He is doing and wanting to do in our lives, we would be much more submissive towards His work in us!

Nearly all of the birds upon the towel in front of me were distressed to the point of not being able to stand upon their own feet. At first they would try to turn their heads away from the wind as the wind blew in their faces. As they continued to struggle, rather than just lying there and dying, their strength began to return. It was slow to return, but the more they struggled against the wind, the stronger they got.

I had them all close together to easily pass the dryer over them, back and forth. It was also for added warmth between their cold little bodies. There was an added benefit as well. As they began to get their feet under them, they were very unsteady. They fell over a lot. As they swayed back and forth in the wind from the dryer, they would bump each other continually. This too, would help to cause their strength to return. Now, not only were they struggling against the wind, but now they were also struggling against each other.

We have all seen this or have been in such situations where there are struggles within the body of Mashiach. These are not totally bad for us as they serve the purpose of making us stronger. Often we fail to see the work which YHWH is doing in our lives through the struggles in our lives. The more we struggle, the stronger we get. Those who struggle little, will have little strength. Those who struggle greatly will have an abundance of strength.

During this whole process of passing the dryer over them and their struggles, they were drying off. As their feathers began to fluff up once again, their body heat began returning. This too, helped to increase their strength. As each one was able to sit upon the towel, and even began to walk around, I would place each one in the brooder under the warmth of the light. They really liked having the warmth without all that wind, just simply basking in the warmth of the rays of the light.

That is also what we like, those mountaintop experiences where we can just bask in the light of His glory shining down upon us. We just want to stay right there in that moment, no cares and no struggles, just us and Him. But life is not lived on the mountaintop. Life is lived in the valley, where there are storms and struggles to be endured, where there is strength to be gained!

There was one little quail who was different in his struggles. I did not understand the difference until it was too late. This little guy, as the wind passed over him, was flapping his wings. None of the other quail were doing this. What I did not realize at the time, was that he had a significant amount of water in his lungs, and the flapping of his wings was his effort to pump air into his lungs. Sadly, it did not work, though. He was moving a lot, flapping his little wings; he was nearly completely dry, when he suddenly just stopped moving. One instant he was struggling with all his fellow quail and the next instant he was gone. I was shocked. I thought he was doing just fine, or at least as well as the other quail. He was struggling and moving and getting his feet under him. Then for some reason, he just gave up. He quit and he died.

Galatians 6:9
And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

We all have become weary at times, weary of the struggles, weary of the constant battle, struggling with each other, and struggling with knowing His direction, with His Spirit. It just wears on us. But we cannot give up! If we give up, we die!

However, some do; some individuals just quit and walk away from our Master and Savior. It is very devastating for the body when this happens. Part of what happens, even though we often fail to see it in this light, is that there is less to struggle against with one less amongst us. When there are fewer struggles, there is less potential for strength. When one gives up, the whole body is diminished!

The struggles bring to us a level of maturity which cannot otherwise be attained. Once a certain level of maturity is attained, then the struggles with each other are considerably less. We are much more compassionate and kind towards others, regardless of how they bump into us and jostle our sensibilities.

I placed food and water in the brooder for the quail. Soon, with the warmth of the light, their strength continued to increase and they began moving about, eating and drinking. After a day in the nursery (brooder), they were ready to be returned to their pens and the rest of the flock.

Sometimes, this is what we need to do, to remove ourselves from the rest of His flock and feed ourselves the bread of life and drink His living water in order to renew our strength. Sometimes it is necessary to put oneself into seclusion, but that seclusion should never be meant to be permanent. Afterwards, after one has been renewed, he is ready to re-enter the life of the body.

It is not an easy path to pass from death into life. It is fraught with struggles, struggles with our heavenly Father as well as with each other.

The rain which came our way fell upon the just and the unjust alike. Hopefully, that which He wanted to teach us about struggles has not only helped us; but also by us sharing it with His people, it will help them as well, help them into maturity, help them in and through their own struggles, to realize that the struggles they must endure are going to make them stronger!

Yochanan (John) 5:24
“Amein, amein, I say unto you, he that hears My word, and believes Him that sent Me, has eternal life, and comes not into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah