Have you heard the Bible verses that say something about being in the shadow of God’s wings or under His feathers you’ll find refuge? I’ve always wondered exactly how being in a shadow or covered in feathers is going to protect me from harm.
I guess a shadow could protect me from a sunburn, but not much else. Maybe feathers could hide me, but not if the wind blew hard enough! How exactly are shadows or feathers the promised protection of God?
This morning, God showed me exactly how He protects us by the shadow of His wings. I wasn’t thinking of these concepts at all – yet. I was sitting outside on my patio overlooking the pond behind our house. I had my coffee and my Bible, gazing at God’s creation and just beginning to clear my mind of everything but God.
There was a crisp morning breeze, the sun was shining, the ducks had the babies out for a swim, and the birds were chirping. I took the picture below so I could show you. Sweet, right?
Well, in swoops our neighborhood red-shouldered hawk. He flew right in front of me on our patio, then he dive-bombed those ducklings, trying to grab one for breakfast! “Oh no!” I shouted as I stood up quickly. Check out this hawk:
Those ducklings, however, didn’t need me.
The mama and papa mallards immediately popped up out of the water with their wings fully out and batting at the offending hawk. Their wings literally formed a protective shield around the babies.
As I watched, I noticed the ducklings were momentarily in a shadow as their parents hid them from the hawk. Luckily, the hawk lost that battle and the little fuzzy ducklings lived to see the rest of the morning.
“Wow, that was kind of cool,” I thought, “I’m glad he didn’t get one. I would have been sad to see him clutching a squawking duckling.”
Back to the task at hand, I turned to my Bible study. The first paragraph discussed how David was pursued by king Saul, who was determined to kill him. David wrote Psalm 57 while hiding from these attacks. Psalm 57 (NASB) begins with this verse:
Be gracious to me, 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.
When I turned the page, Psalm 91:4 (NIV) was next:
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Seriously? Didn’t I just see this take place on my pond?!
I call this kind of thing a God-nod. When you literally see something with your eyes or hear it with your ears, and then Scripture comes forth to your mind and the Holy Spirit nudges you to pay attention. Or, it happens vice-versa. You read something in your Bible and the next thing you know, it happens in your life.
Life into Scripture or Scripture into life – either way, it’s a God-nod. The Creator of the universe is trying to get your attention.
Almighty God is pursuing you. Yes, you.
When you get a God-nod, you should write it down. While God and the Holy Spirit never leave a believer, they’re often subtle. Most likely, God speaks to you in that small, still voice. But, sometimes, He’s more direct about making sure you know it’s Him talking to you and not the leftover effects of that movie you watched last night.
When you notice life and Scripture line up, there’s a reason. Sometimes it’s a big reason, a much-needed lifeline you can grasp onto while you’re going through something rough. Other times, it’s just the sweetness of God, letting you know that He’s with you, watching you, caring about you. It’s the kissy-face emoji, just for you.
Yet, if you take a moment to process what just happened, awe and wonder will seep into your soul. Love will wash through the deep places in your heart. Doubts recede and fears subside. God just touched you. The Ancient of Days put His mighty hand on your little head.
You. And for no reason at all – other than to let you know that He sees you, that He is with you – always. Even when you’re just watching ducklings on a pond. You, His child, reside in the shadow of His wings. You are under the protection of His feathers.
No harm shall come to you this day that doesn’t have to come through Him first.
This morning’s God-nod whispered this into my soul: Rest easy, child. Enjoy the day. Continue to swim in the sunshine. Grow. Experience life in the shadow of My wings. You are protected by Me.
When is the last time God nodded in your direction? How did He get your attention? What did He tell you?