“God was like an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young, then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air, teaching them to fly. God alone led (her).”
EXPLORATION: Day 3: How God embraces us with His protection.
“Embrace” – To encircle. To include. To encompass.
How has God protected my life?
“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word.”
New International Version
Several years ago, my husband and I took a day trip on the Verde Canyon Railroad. The train follows the weaving path of the Verde River, through steep cliffs and colorful canyon walls. The reason we chose to go at this particular time was we heard there was a pair of bald eagles who had two babies in their nest that hung high on the rocks above the river valley.
Much to our delight, we were treated to one of the most spectacular sights as we witnessed a close-up view into the world of eagles.
As the train rounded a bend which brought the huge nest into view, our conductor pointed to the male eagle who was perched on top of a tree close to the train tracks. With piercing eyes and a revolving head, this father watched every movement that took place around him.
He was a protector in every sense of the word. He watched out for prey that might harm the chicks who were flapping their wings in the large nest.
However, the father eagle was not the only one protecting the young. The mother eagle sat on a rock right by the nest, poking food into the babies’ mouths and spreading her large wings over the restless chicks. She too was their protector.
As I watched these beautiful birds take care of their young, I couldn’t help but be reminded how God also calls Himself our protector. Just like the eagle spreads her wings, so God provides a shield of protection over us. In the book of Genesis, God was talking with Abraham. Having just been through a battle, Abraham was probably feeling vulnerable from the possibility of outside attacks, when God assured him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield” (Genesis 15:1, New International Version).
The most ancient form of a shield was used as protection from hand-to-hand combat with instruments such as swords, arrows or axes. These shields could be made of metal, yet other times they were constructed of wood, animal hides, and even wicker and turtle shells.
Even today, shields are used by police for riot control or smaller shields are what we call, “bullet-proof vests.”
How insightful that David, the hunter and soldier, having used a shield to protect himself from man and beast, in talking with God, in the Psalms, asked God to be his shield from evil and harm over 16 times. David understood that a man-made shield could be a lifesaver. He wanted no less protection from his Heavenly Father whom he called, “my help and shield; my hiding place and my shield; my shield in whom I trust; my sun and shield; my shield and buckler; and my strength and shield” (Psalm 3:3, 5:12, 18:35, 28:7, 33:20, 35:2, 59:11, 76:3, 84:9, 84:11, 91:4, 115:9, 115:10, 115:11, 119:114, 144:2, King James Version).
Like David, you and I today can say: “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me” (Psalm 3:3, King James Version). God our heavenly protector, spreads His wings over us and shields us under His protective covering. How thankful I am for God – my protector.
“My boat is very small,
Heavily laden with stones;
The waves run high around,
The stream is wide, and very swift;
Take thou the helm, my God,
Oh let thy mercy steer her on,
And bring her to the farther shore in peace.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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