Feathers and Fathers

I need to type more carefully.  Not only do I have trouble reading accurately when I skim, I also type carelessly when I hurry.

I was searching for a particular verse on biblegateway.com and entered “feathers” in the search box.  I was amazed at the number of entries until I realized that I had mistakenly typed “fathers” instead.

Still, there are several avian metaphors in the Bible that help us understand God’s love.  Our heavenly father is compared to a bird who protects his offspring under his feathers and a hen who gathers her chicks under her wings.

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When we, like frantically cheeping chicks, scramble to hide from danger, we can let God protect us and keep us safe.

He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge

Psalm 91:4   NIV

ih chickens7 (2)

When we feel afraid, we can run to the Lord.  We can trust in his love and believe that he will provide generously for all our needs.

How exquisite your love, O God!
    How eager we are to run under your wings,
To eat our fill at the banquet you spread

Psalm 36:7,8   MSG

ii chickens8 (2)

When life is difficult, and we’re just waiting, trying to figure out what to do next, we can still rejoice.  We can sing!

Because you are my help,
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.   Psalm 63:7   NIV

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When gut-twisting events and unanswered prayers steal our sleep,  we can remember how God has been faithful in the past.  We can rest in the soft, dark shadow of his presence and allow him to be El Roi–the God who sees.

I lie awake at night thinking of you—of how much you have helped me—and how I rejoice through the night beneath the protecting shadow of your wings.  

Psalm 63:6,7   TLB

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When we don’t deserve your forgiveness–again, when we’re old enough to know better, and when it seems the only good thing about us is you, Lord,  You still take us in.  You hold us close and warm, a mere breath away.

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed.

Psalm 57:1   NIV

ij chickens1 (2)

When the blackness that’s rooted in our the hearts pushes away your embrace, when we reject your gospel-good-news, you still love us–all the way to the cross.

Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me.

Matthew 23:37   MSG

Here is the story of Liza (a silky Bantam chicken), the chicks collected beneath her wings, and her sacrificial encounter with a hawk.  Here is the gospel written in feathers.

Keep your eye on me;
    hide me under your cool wing feathers
From the wicked who are out to get me,
    from mortal enemies closing in.

Psalm 17:8   MSG

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all photos by Barb Briggs

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linking with Holley Gerth

linking with Laura Boggess

linking with Jennifer Dukes Lee

Essential Fridays Linkup linking with Essential Thing Devotions


Posted on June 12, 2014, in Devotional and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Barbara Briggs

    Thanks, Connie – under his wing looks like a good place for me to spend the night:)

  2. Really sweet thoughts on protection and feathers. I love the pictures too. 🙂

  3. What an awesome post, Constance Ann! That video is great, albeit a few years old. I watched the first one in the series, where the owner gives her chicken CPR…had a great hoot over that!

    I wish Momma Mallard had been able to hide her baby ducklings under her wings this spring. I am so very grateful for an Omnipotent Omniscient Father Who never fails us! Thanks for this lovely post. ~Joyce

    • Thanks for reading, Joyce! Yes, I’m grateful, too, for our heavenly father who not only is able to save and protect us, but who wants to. I love Barb’s photo of the chicks under the hen’s wings and the contented hen.

  4. Just love how you weave the adorable pictures and word pictures to paint a tapestry of God.s love and protection! Thank you Constance.

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