Today’s Thoughts: Under the Shelter of His Wings
And He shall cover you with His feathers. And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4
Three summers ago, our family purchased a 6-week old male cockatiel. But it was around a month ago that I started noticing behavioral changes in Mercy as he began to softly sing songs, slowly rocking back and forth, while hiding in dark, quiet and soft places (like our sock drawer). He seemed to be nesting. Was Mercy having an identity crises or was our male bird “a girl”? One day, the mystery was solved as Mercy laid an egg. She actually laid a total of 3 eggs during 1 week period of time. But with the first egg, Mercy took on the role of a mother. She would stay in the corner of the cage to protect the eggs. She did not want to get her eggs dirty so she would not leave any droppings while in the cage. Mercy waited until we lifted her off the eggs and got her out of the cage. She stopped chirping to not give away her position. Our little bird suddenly and instinctively changed. It was amazing.
After watching how Mercy sheltered her eggs, I began to understand why God uses a bird’s wings to describe Himself to us. Passages like:
Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 57:1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
Psalm 61:4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Mercy would skillfully gather her rolling eggs and gently sit on them. However, her little body was not big enough to cover all three eggs. So, she would then tilt her body slightly forward and gracefully expand her wings to keep the three eggs protected from injury and to keep the eggs very warm. She was completely determined and resolved to stay in this position to keep the eggs under her wings. Mercy would even sleep in this position as her head would fall forward and rest on the floor of the cage. Only if I lifted her off the eggs to eat, drink and exercise, would Mercy leave her eggs.
If this little bird would do all this for empty, unfertilized eggs, how much more does our Heavenly Father protect and comfort us? The Lord’s biggest difficulty with us must be that His little eggs have feet to get up and leave the nest! When Jesus said in Matthew 23:37, “"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing,” I suddenly realized that He honors our unwillingness to not stay under the shelter of His wings. It is not best for us but we have a choice.
How many of us need to return to His nest? Do you need to find a place of rest and warmth by the counsel and comfort of His Spirit? God is faithful and during this difficult season in our economy, know that He never leaves you nor forsakes you. Rest in His nest as you open His Word and seek Him for wisdom and discernment. He will provide for us and protect us. It is God’s heart desire to gather us as chicks. He longs to cover us with His feathers and allow us to find shelter and refuge under His wings. (Psalm 91:4) Obviously, our God is not a bird but I am very thankful that He uses all things, even my little Mercy bird, to help me understand Him better.
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