Slightly Obsessed #067 "In the Shadow of His Wings" (Weekly Devo) by Pamela Thorson on 2014-04-02 07:28:25
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. –Matthew 23:37
A hen with her chicks is a vivid picture of a protective momma.
When I was growing up, I had a calico cat named Roseanne. Roseanne was an outdoor cat who loved to roam our eight acres of Idaho countryside. She was never spayed until her later years and was one of the most prolific cats I have ever seen –much to the dismay of my parents. Roseanne had kittens everywhere: under old boards, in our aging pink DeSoto sedan, in a cozy box if I found her soon enough. One spring she gave birth in the ancient hay barn next to the chicken coop.
We discovered the kittens one day being “mothered” by a setting banty hen whose own nest had been destroyed by a predator. The hen hovered over them as protectively as she would have her own chicks, spreading her wings over them and pecking anyone who threatened her newly adopted babies. Roseanne sat nearby, unwilling to take on the protective –if misguided –hen.
The picture of a mother hen with her chicks is such a strong one that God used it repeatedly in the Old Testament to describe His love toward His people. God longed to have compassion on His people, to gather them up and protect them. Over and over, they rejected Him. They killed the prophets He sent to them. They scattered from under His protection and suffered at the brutal hands of their enemies.
Now God had arrived in the flesh, pouring out Himself in their image in the ultimate act of compassion to His rebel world. Here was their King, their Protector, their Refuge, their Deliverer, standing before them. Still, they didn’t understand.
Jesus wept at the hardness of their hearts.
It’s easy to look back on the people of Jerusalem and see what they missed. And yet, how often do I wander like an errant chick out from under His protective wings and straight into the claws of the predator? Why is it so hard to trust in God’s goodness, His wisdom, His compassion?
Why do I think I can run my own life, when in God’s eyes I’m just as helpless?
The only job a chick has is to stay put and grow up. No one wants to think of themselves as weak. But acknowledging weakness is a good thing. It’s what God’s been waiting to receive from His people:
Confessing our weakness. Returning to His side. Staying put and growing up.
Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me,
For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge
Until destruction passes by. – Psalm 57:1
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
On a recent hot July day, we took in an air show in our town. Vintage planes, including a couple of impressive old warbirds, sat majestically on the tarmac for inspection as we darted from wing to wing to find relief from the withering heat.
These planes are still operable, so although some of them were open for people to walk through, the cockpits were off-limits for obvious reasons. No one wanted a tragedy to happen because an unauthorized person tampered with the controls. People who don’t know what they’re doing shouldn’t be in control.
Slightly Obsessed #189: The Calling
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Slightly Obsessed #187: He Reigns
Has a more beautiful declaration ever been written? Without that truth, we would have been forever lost to life. But because God had all authority firmly in His grasp, Satan had no chance of wresting the universe from Him. Because God reigns, Jesus could heal sickness, forgive sins, and conquer death. Because God is in control, evil was outwitted. Because He is Lord, there is power behind the words, “It is finished.”
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.