13 August 2008

Under His Wings...

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge (Psalm 91:4)

I usually write straight from the heart, but today, my best friend from college sent me a story that I'd heard (several times) before, but which was right on time for me today, so I want to share it in this forum:

A little something to put things in perspective. An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an interesting picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with astick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.

WOW! Talk about love. What a glorious story about the sacrifice that mother made for her children, but what about the baby chicks who were safely nestled under her wing? Did they appreciate her sacrifice or did they peck and claw at her to get out? Were they aware of the impending danger or were they only aware of how heavy her wing was as it pressed against them? My point is this: often I am in the midst of an inferno of strife and stress and danger - [more often than not caused by something of my own doing] - and God tries to gather me under His wings in order to safeguard me and protect me - only to have me fight and fuss and rail against Him for trapping or hindering me from doing whatever it is I want to do. How often do we take His protection for granted or even resent Him for protecting us?

And notice, when the chicks were set free - they scurried off. The story does not say that they lingered around to grief their mother's sacrifice, they didn't stop and say, "thanks Mom for giving your life so that I could live"...they just went on with their lives. Just as I tend to do when God delivers me...sometimes, I am negligent with my praise and thanks...and just scurry off without looking back.

But the most amazing thing: the next time danger approaches, God doesn't stand back and say, "Shoot! She didn't say thank you last time...she's on her own this time." He lovingly gathers me under His wings again to offer shelter and protection through the inferno. What a wonderful God!

Be blessed.

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