Jesus Longs For Us to Find Refuge Under His Wings of Love

Courtesy of Heartlight
“Like a bird protecting its young,
God will cover you with His feathers,
will protect you under His great wings;
His faithfulness will form a shield around you,
a rock-solid wall to protect you.”
Psalm 91:4 VOICE

God often uses birds as an analogy of His loving care and protection over us. When an April snowstorm hit us, I watched a visible sign of this truth. A house finch pair already had a nest outside my office window. It was amazing to see how they kept the eggs warm and did not leave them to find shelter for themselves. The eggs did hatch and the parents faithfully fed, cared for, and protected them. If the little ones needed more warmth or were afraid, they snuggled more deeply under the wings of their mother.

Birds will sacrifice their own lives to keep their young ones safe. I once heard a story of a mother bird whose blackened and dead body was found by rangers after a forest fire. One of them bumped her body with a stick and out popped three little chicks alive and well. She could have flown to safety, but she remained to protect her beloved young and give her life for theirs.

Though a bird will give its life for its young, there are times when it has no power against much stronger enemies. That will never happen with God. He is invincible. There is no enemy too strong for Him. We can always find refuge under His Almighty wings of safety in the storms of life. 

And there will be storms, because we are part of this sinful, fallen world. As long as we are on this earth, physical, mental, and emotional losses in various forms will continue to cause heart-rending grief, anxiety, and fear.

We all need a Shelter, a Refuge, a Safe Savior in these storms.

Jesus mourns when we don’t choose to find refuge underneath His loving, shielding wings. When Jerusalem rejected Jesus and His love, He wept (Luke 19:41). He voiced His sorrow in Luke 13:34b:

“How often I have longed to
gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks
under her wings,
and you were not willing.”

Jesus longs for us to find refuge under His wings of love and safety. He longs for us to believe He willingly gave His life for us to rescue us from sin, eternal death, and Satan. He longs for us to take it to heart that He loves us so much that He suffered an excruciating death for us to keep us safe.

Yes, it’s hard to trust there is safety under His wings if our trust has been horribly betrayed or if we are so confused about what love really is. It took me many years to believe I can trust Him. To believe His intentions toward us are always honorable and life-giving, not hurtful and life-taking.

Even if we hesitate to take shelter beneath His loving wings, He never stops loving us or caring about us. His wings are always open, entreating us to find refuge in Him. His patience knows no end!

Lord, thank You for loving us so much and longing for us to take shelter in You. Please help us to trust You with all our hearts. Take away all the roadblocks that keep us from fleeing to find refuge in You. Take away all the trust issues we may have in our hearts. Take away all our self-sufficiency. Please help us to snuggle underneath Your wings of loving care with all our restlessness, anxiety, and fear. Help us to picture Your protective wings around us whenever we step forward into places or situations that make us feel so afraid and untrusting but yet will help us on the road to healing the brokenness within us. Help us to be dependent on You and Your all-sufficient grace in whatever struggles we go through in this life. Thank You that Your wings of love and safety are invincible.

Your Wings
by Lauren Daigle

Mary’s Devotion to God and His Way In Spite of Scorn

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord;
let it be to me according to Your Word.”

Can you imagine an angel from God suddenly appearing in front of you? Telling you something will happen to you that is so incomprehensible that no one on earth can ever understand it?

What a shock it must have been for Mary, coming from the disregarded, despised city of Nazareth. She was among the poor and unnoticed.

But God noticed her. He chose her to carry our Savior, truly God who became poor so that we might become rich.

“You know the grace that has come to us
through our Lord Jesus the Anointed.
He set aside His infinite riches
and was born into the lowest circumstance
so that you may gain great riches
through His humble poverty.”
2 Corinthians 8:9 Voice

When the angel appeared, Mary became frightened, but the angel told her:

“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Now listen:
You will conceive and give birth to a son,
and you will call His name Jesus.
He will be great
and will be called the Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give Him
the throne of His father David.
He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and His kingdom will have no end.”
Luke 1:30-33 HCSB

Mary was baffled, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied to her:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,

and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore, the holy One to be born
will be called the Son of God.”
Luke 1:35 HCSB

Wow! God poured in His grace, and Mary opened her heart and believed this was not impossible with God. She answered His call, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to Your Word.” (Luke 1:38 ESV)

What would this illegitimate birth mean for Mary in the culture in which she lived?  Her father might have cast her out and forced her into begging. She would be scorned and could even be put to death, but God took care of all this and told Joseph not to abandon her and to go ahead and marry her anyway.

She may still have been under suspicion. Maybe she even lost friends.

A difficult journey was ahead of her, and she knew her submission to God would be costly. Yet she remained devoted to Him and freely offered Him her body and soul. It was more important to her to follow God and have His favor than gain the approval of people.

O Lord, are we that available to You? Please help us to give You our whole hearts and lives, both body and soul. Make us open to whatever You have in mind for us in this life, even when we can’t understand it or we meet with resistance. Like Mary, help us to put Your favor and glory above people’s approval and favor. Enable us to throw ourselves into Your hands with a childlike trust as Your servants, ready to do or be whatever You ask us to! Help us to make room in our hearts for You! We invite You to be born in the stinking, dirty stable of our hearts! Help us to embrace and be filled with awe that You became poor so we might become rich! Thank You for Your free gift of unspeakable love!

 

Trusting God’s Faithful Care In the Midst of Heartache

good-shepherd-2
Art by Warner Sallman (1892-1968)

Do you see how the lamb is gazing so trustingly at Jesus and how lovingly Jesus holds and cares for the little one? We have an art print in our bedroom that has often aroused a prayer in me that I will trust Jesus so freely and fully.

good-shepherdEven though we have had this picture for years, and various aspects of it have ministered to me, something else struck home a few weeks ago. The sheep next to Jesus is also gazing so trustingly at Jesus. Perhaps it is her lamb He is holding. Another prayer bubbled up in my heart. Lord Jesus, please help me to trust You also for my children and grandchildren. Help me to truly leave them in Your hands of love and mercy.

It’s not that I haven’t prayed something like this before, but the meaning I saw in the picture captured my heart in a deeper way.

You see, sometimes I forget God is God. I forget His character of love, compassion, mercy, and power. I forget He reigns over all the earth, over every single human being. Not one hurt, heartache, or horror escapes His notice. It may not feel like it sometimes, but He is still in control on this earth. He is still in control of our loved ones’ hearts. He is still in control over every hurting soul.

“God is God. He sees and hears
all our troubles, all our tears.
Soul, forget not, in your pains,
God over all forever reigns.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

God knows all the burdens and messes in our hearts and our lives. Every single one. Not one tear escapes His notice. He cares so deeply that His loving, compassionate heart cries tears with us.

He can and will take every tangled, broken thread in our hearts, lives, families, nation, and world and make a beautiful design that glorifies Himself and benefits us. 

Thank You, God, for all Your goodness and faithful care over us, even when we resist Your ways and want our own way. Please help us to unload all our burdens and messes into Your powerful, ever-capable, merciful hands. Help us to trust You with the bigger picture that You have in mind. To believe Your plans are always for our greater good. Please help us to trust You with our families and friends, our nation, and every hurting, lonely heart in this whole wide world. It’s so hard, Lord, when You don’t move the mountains we long for You to move, but please help us to trust You no matter what. Please help us to rest in Your plan. Help us to believe that even when we can’t see You or feel You, You are still here with us and for us. You will never abandon us! May we cling to You and Your tender love!

serenity-prayer
“The Lord is my Shepherd;
I have all that I need.”
Psalm 23:1 NLT
“Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray.
Pray about everything.
He longs to hear your requests,

so talk to God about your needs and
be thankful for what has come.

And know that the peace of God
(a peace that is beyond any
and all of our human understanding)

will stand watch over your hearts
and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.”
Philippians 4:6-7 Voice
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
says the Eternal,

“plans for peace, not evil,
to give you a future and hope

— never forget that.”
Jeremiah 29:11 Voice

A Child's Trust

“Trust In You”
by Lauren Daigle

trust
Little Birdie Blessings
May God Hold You and Yours
In the Palm of His Hand!Signature