He will cover you with his wings. And under his wings you will be safe. He is faithful like a safe-covering and a strong wall. (Psalm 91:4 NLV)
One Spring, our neighbor determined to witness a hatchling’s first flight. She stationed her lawn chair by a nest-bearing tree and brought along a book to pass the hours. The awaited time arrived soon enough, and unmistakably so, for a momma robin began to urge her young-‘un to launch. He, on the other hand, wanted no part of it. So while Momma continued to chirp, Junior stood at the edge of the nest—frozen, looking down, unconvinced. After an hour of parental prodding, though, the little guy decided it better to plunge into thin air than to listen to this all day!
The baby bird went into a glide, the neighbor’s green grass passing beneath him like a scroll, then the street, and in no time the first-timer was in our air space and over our lawn. At that point, it became clear his approach vector would not serve him well. I wonder what went through his mind as our house grew ever-larger and quickly filled his entire field of vision. Thud! (Or Thud-lite?) He hit our house and fell to the ground. The plumed pilot was only stunned, fortunately, and when he came to, he found his feet, got his bearings, turned around and headed for home. Walking. The entire way. Enough flying for today, thank you.
The psalmist marvels at God—a shelter providing rest, a fortress securing refuge, a wing offering cover. And so He is. But it doesn’t always feel this way, does it? Like the momma robin, God sends us out into a world with “thud” moments awaiting—small ones that leave us smarting and big ones that send us reeling. The question is, what do we do then? Do we let our ruffled feathers keep us away from God, or do we wobble back to where we will find love, protection, and, yes, sound correction and instruction for another launch, another day? Our grounded aviator had much yet to learn about flying, but he knew enough to head home and fly again … tomorrow, perhaps.
Father in heaven, as you send me out to engage the world around me today, assure me of the promise of your love, instruct me in the wisdom of your Word, protect me in the shelter of your wing. Amen.
[Read today’s Scripture in Psalm 91:1-8.]