“Dad! Dad!” James shouted. “There’s a fire in the prairie out back, and the wind is blowing it toward the henhouse and the barn!”
“Yes, I saw it, too!” his father replied as he ran toward the pond with several empty buckets. “I called the neighbors to help. We’ll put it out before it goes any further.”
The fire was getting closer to the fence surrounding the property that belonged to James’ family. The wind was also blowing sparks toward their house.
Outside the henhouse a brood of chicks huddled around the mother hen.
“Mommy, I’m scared!” cried one of the chicks.
“It’s getting really hot, and the smoke is stinging my eyes,” said another chick.
The mother hen knew she shouldn’t show fear, but the flames were getting closer and closer. She didn’t see how her little family would survive.
“Come closer, my dears,” she instructed, “and don’t worry. Come sit close to me under my wings, and I’ll protect you from the hot flames.”
“Thank you, Mommy,” peeped the chicks. “We feel so safe under your wings.”
“There!” James’ father finally exclaimed as he mopped his brow with a damp cloth. “We put it out. Thank God!”
“I wonder what that is over there,” James said as he walked over to a smoking pile nearby. He turned it over with his foot.
“Oh, my!” James exclaimed as six little chicks hurried out from under the smoking pile. “It’s our red hen! She gave her life so that her chicks could be saved!” Tears formed in James’ eyes as he looked down at the red hen.
“Yes,” said his father. “She gave her life to save her chicks, just like Jesus gave His life to save us. He suffered a cruel death on the cross so that we could be saved.”
Father put his arm around James. “And now any boy or girl, man or woman, who accepts Jesus into their life can experience God’s great love for them. Because Jesus died for our sins, we will never need to.”
“Dear Jesus,” James prayed, “thank You for showing us how much You loved us through this example of the dear red hen who laid down her life for her chicks, just like You did for us so many years ago. Thank You for loving us so much.”
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13 NKJV).
Authored by Simon Peterson. Adapted and illustrated by Phoebe Solari. Designed by Roy Evans.
Published by My Wonder Studio. Copyright © 2020 by The Family International