Several weeks ago I purchased a hanging basket of beautiful hot pink-and-purple fuchsia for the front porch. It was full and lovely with a multitude of blossoms and buds – more than I could count. As time passed, and I didn’t give it quite enough water, it thinned a bit. One day I took it off the hook to take a look and to my surprise a perfectly formed nest had been built in the planter. I wondered if it had been there when I bought it from the nursery or if it was a recent addition; just in case it was new, I left it undisturbed.
Last evening I took the plant off the hook to water it, any to my amazement there were six tiny blue eggs in the nest. I’ve never seen the parents, but I know they are nearby, guarding their cozy home filled with their off-spring to be. Even in the recent thunderstorms they have faithfully sheltered their eggs as the basket sways in the wind.
These invisible, shielding sentinels remind me of the way of God with his people. We aren’t always aware of God’s watchful eye and his safeguarding wings, but he is ever present.
The Psalmist must have been a bit of a bird-watcher. I count at least six verses that compare God’s protection to the wings of a parent bird. The author of Psalm 91 reassures us, “he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge.”
From the faithfulness of the bird parents he learned a lesson about the enduring care of our Heavenly Father: “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” (Ps 36:7)
Like our tiny eggs and soon to be chicks, we know even when danger is near we are not abandoned; when David fled from his enemy, Saul, he wrote, “in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.” (Ps 57:1)
When we become aware of God’s protection, it births within us trust, comfort and joy. We can sing with the millions who have learned the security of being under God care, “for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.” (Ps 63:7)