Skip to main content

Have you ever come across a nest that looks like it’s been all broken up with nothing left but egg shells? This is part of God's design for birds to protect themselves.

The United States and Canada are some of the few places in the world where people refrigerate eggs. The government’s food safety rules require eggs to be washed to make sure the eggs we buy in a store are clean and free from the potential contaminants that can exist where a chicken lays.

But when we wash eggs, we’re disrupting God’s intentional design. God designed birds to excrete an oil around eggshells. This oil protects the eggs from microbes penetrating the shell. It’s a natural barrier to contamination.

We can understand why God designed eggs this way when we think about the way a bird lays its eggs. When it’s time for a bird to lay eggs, it will usually lay one egg a day, which would be an issue if they hatched in order. In that case, chicks would hatch in anywhere from four to 12 days, but not all at once. For ground-nesting birds like chickens, ducks, or geese, this would give predators a chance to notice the freshly broken eggshells and discover the hatchlings.

But that’s not how God designed eggs. As long as the eggs are kept cool, they don't begin to develop. But when a bird is done laying all its eggs, it will finally sit on the eggs to warm them. This means they’ll all begin to develop and incubate on the same day at the same time, regardless of when they were laid. This allows all the eggs to hatch on the same day.

But don’t the earlier eggs start to go bad while they wait for the other eggs to be laid? No! Those natural oils on the eggshell protect it from the microbes that could make an egg start to spoil. Because of this design, a bird can lay an egg and then leave the nest. The next day it can come back, lay another egg, and leave the nest again.

It’s an amazing design. Imagine a predator out and about looking for food. A nest full of broken shells, freshly hatched chicks, and unhatched eggs would be an inviting smell! But because all the eggs hatch on the same day, ground-nesting birds and their hatchlings all leave the nest shortly after the eggs hatch. All that’s left is the nest and the eggshells. The mother and the hatchlings head for new territory, be it another field, meadow, river, pond, or lake. 

This reminds me of the spiritual practices we should have in our lives. Spending time in God’s Word, in prayer, and in our Christian communities helps protect us from the “microbes” of the world. Surrounding ourselves with these things helps give us the needed defense to resist temptation and walk the path God has created us to walk.

Be like an egg: use the protection God has given us!

We Are Counting on You

The Banner is more than a magazine; it’s a ministry that impacts lives and connects us all. Your gift helps provide this important denominational gathering space for every person and family in the CRC.

Give Now