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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
all photos by Barb Briggs
* * * * *
linking with Holley Gerth
linking with Laura Boggess
linking with Jennifer Dukes Lee
linking with Essential Thing Devotions