I love the imagery that birds provide. I love that mamas sit on precious eggs, waiting for bumps and wiggles, monitoring each motion and poke. Sweet fledglings pry their way into the world, damp and blind, wholly dependent. Utterly helpless. They snuggle tightly into a nest lined with down as mama flies out for fresh food daily, gladly feeding impatient little beaks. [bird photo credit below]
But what I cling to is the idea of Our Father sheltering us under his wings. Us: blind. Wholly dependent. Impatient. Little birds, we all, faltering, unable to fly, snuggling deeply into our daddy’s nest.
I cling to the idea of God as my refuge; God’s faithfulness as my shield. I cling to the idea of finding rest in his shadow, just as Abram pitched his tents under the trees of Mamre, finding rest in the heat of the day.
And I breathe deeply when I ponder what it really means to dwell in the shelter of the Most High. Exodus 9:19 says:
“Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every person and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die.’”
During the Plagues, God commands Moses to find shelter or suffer the harsh effects (death!) of being left unprotected under the pelting torrent of hail. Their very lives were in danger, and God commands them to take cover! He knows that alone and exposed, they will not — cannot — survive.
Instead of setting up camp and huddling under a scrap of burlap or animal skin, imagine finding shelter in the Most High God!
Consider that the Lord himself will protect those who draw near to him. He will draw his feathers around us, keep us warm, and offer security that the world cannot offer. Imagine that you are one of the birds in the photo above, leaning in, nestling close, and trusting.
Imagine that in our blindness and impatience he offers rest and covering. He opens our eyes and provides, filling our squawking beaks with every good thing. He offers not his might or his power as a shield, but his faithfulness.
That, friends, is comfort.
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