Posted by: Jo | November 30, 2012

In The Shadow Of His Wings

“Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8)

imageJust recently a group of my friends were discussing birds. The discussion was prompted by me telling them I had seen a humming bird on our balcony deep in a pot of winter pansies. I was really surprised to see it as winter is approaching and I thought I should remind this little one that he should definitely be thinking of flying south. The humming bird is one of my favourite birds, but I was fascinated to hear how others in the group varied widely in which birds they really liked. Their preferences ranged from peacocks to robins to bald eagles and as I was listening to them I suddenly recalled the amazement I felt when I first witnessed, while we were living beside the lake in British Columbia, the mighty span of the wings of the great horned owl. This huge bird measures up to 2 feet tall and its wing span can reach 5 feet. It can swivel its head 270 degrees. This bird is not one to mess with!! When it flew across our property its wings cast a huge shadow, but the most surprising event we witnessed in our little part of the wilderness, was during one night, when we heard scratching noises on the sky light of our bedroom. When my husband turned on the light we could see two sets of claws. The great horned owl was sitting on our sky light and under her wings was a baby owl. We quickly turned off the light. We were not going to disturb that scene.

We find our Heavenly Father being pictured as a mighty bird, just like my great horned owl, a mighty bird able to protect us just by us being under the shadow of his wings (Psalm 17:8). In Psalm 91 we read;image

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91:4)

God equates himself with a bird when he tells the Israelites that he “…carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4)

In the beautiful story of Ruth we read of a young Moabite woman leaving her country and her family, pledging to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and to follow Naomi’s God;

“…Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)

When Ruth fulfills her promise, Boaz, her future husband, assures her that she has surely made the right decision and again we read of the comparison of our God to a powerful bird;

“May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” (Ruth 2:12)

But perhaps Jesus gives us one of the most comforting images of how he longs to protect us in this bird comparison;

“…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” (Matthew 23:37)

When we imagegrasp this beautiful picture of chickens scurrying under their mother hen’s feathers and disappearing totally, fully protected by her body, we are awed by the mighty protection our Heavenly Father is offering to us. No need to fear the terrors of the night. We just need to stay in the shadow of his wings.

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  1. […] In The Shadow Of His Wings (godspeaking.wordpress.com) […]

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  2. when l was sick many years ago Psalms 91 was the scripture that God gave me especially the part about hiding in the shadow of His wings……the imagery is so powerfull yet gentle! elvera

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  3. I love this Jo. I did a blog on Psalm 91 a few weeks back…a co-blog with a friend for six weeks. I love the imagery this psalm speaks of.

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