It was nine feet tall, and six feet wide, soft as a downy chick.
It was made from the feathers of forty 'leven geese
Took a whole bolt of cloth for the tick.
It'd hold eight kids and four hound dogs,
and a piggy we stole from the shed.
We didn't get much sleep, but we had a lot of fun
On Grandma's feather bed.*
A feather bed--delightful! What fun snuggling up with cousins and pets in Grandma's giant feather bed...tickling, giggling...troubles disappearing...memories multiplying.
All brought to you courtesy of...feathers! That's comfort and security based on a goose down mattress, pillow, and comforter.
Today kids rarely have feather beds or pillow fights with bulging feather pillows that burst in a downy-white blizzard. But, every child can experience the comfort and security a feather pillow brings--through the loving arms of parents and grandparents who hold them, answer questions, tend wounds, dry tears.
Scripture speaks of protection given children of God because they are beside Him--in His shadow. When the Bible assigns human traits to God, we understand "shadow" and "shade" as a picture of protection. To be in another's shadow, you have to be near him. You feel safe when near someone who's promised to protect you (Psalm 91:1; 121:5; Isaiah 25:4; 49:2; 51:16; Lamentations 4:20).
Jesus uniquely expanded the shadow image. "How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing" (Matthew 23:37 NIV). He offered the security and warmth of God's wings (Psalm 17:8, 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 91:4).
To bring your children under the wings of God, draw them close to you. If you're living continually under God's wings, then when your children are close to you, they are also under His wings. Your arms can become the warm secure feathers under God's wings when you hold children close and tell them you love them. If you're at peace, protected, secure in God's love, they will be also. Your lap becomes a comforting feather pillow.
Picture a weaned child at peace in his mother's arms, resting under God's wings.
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me...Hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever. (Psalm 131).
Matters Too Great
Adults often feel overwhelmed by life's complexities. We'd climb up in God's lap if we could. Our children get overwhelmed too. The stuff of life is sometimes too much for them. Then they need a lap--a feather pillow to snuggle with--a place free from crushing concerns. The psalmist pictured himself in God's lap, and we need to give our children that same opportunity.
Quieting of the Soul
Being heard above this world's roar is hard for children. But because they don't break in with their questions and concerns doesn't mean they don't have them. Provide an opportunity for kids to calm and quiet their souls. Set aside some quiet time with little ones and teens.
Freedom from Want
What a fascinating picture the psalmist paints, one with which every mother can readily identify--"like a weaned child with his mother." A weaned child can sit in his mother's lap in perfect repose, free from the dictates of appetite. That's a perfect picture of the child of God who trusts his heavenly Father, and the earthly child who trusts his loving parent.
Maybe the days of the feather bed are past, but the days of making memories with your children are not. Let me encourage you to do everything you can to make your lap a feather pillow in which your children can quiet their souls within them, just as God quiets your own. There is no place of rest for a child like the rest of a parent's soft embrace.
* "Grandma's Feather Bed." Words and music by Jim Connor. ©1973 Cherry River Music Co.
This article was excerpted from Turning Points, Dr. David Jeremiah's devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.