Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shadow of His Wings (part 1)

When you are hurt, who do you run to? I know who my children run to. As an adult, where do you go? Do you go to a stranger or do you turn to the ones who know you the best? My husband hears most of my troubles. He is the one closest to me. Several years ago, he was sick and we didn’t know what the reason was. I needed to talk about it. He didn’t. Who did I call? I called my Sunday School teacher. I knew I could count on her to listen, and to pray for me. Now, I could have called any number of other women from church. There are plenty of other Sunday School teachers who are equally trustworthy to honor a request for prayer. Why do you think I didn’t call them? Because I don’t know them as well; because I haven’t spent as much time in their presence.

I said before that you can’t enjoy any of the shadows of God’s presence, unless you know the initial one: the shadow of the Rock (salvation). [here and here, if you missed it] Well, they sort of build on one another. Unless you know God personally, spend time with Him under the tree (or in the garden, or wherever your personal place with Him is) on a regular basis, you won’t come as easily under the next shadow: the shadow of His wings. It won’t be a place you run to immediately when you need to.

When you hear people talk about the “Shadow of His wings,” you invariably hear the comparison to mother hens gathering their chicks under their wings. I was born and raised in the city. I know nothing about chickens, except that roosters are noisy. My neighbor used to keep a whole flock (or whatever you call a bunch of chickens), and they made noise all day long. I don't know about you, but chickens don’t suggest comfort to me. The picture I want you to have is a lap. If you have children, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, think back to your own childhood. Remember your favorite lap: your mom’s, your grandmother’s, the lady next door. It’s safe, it’s comfortable, it’s always available. My mother-in-law has that kind of lap. Once, a friend of hers was bringing her little daughter to “big church” for the first time. The mom asked the little girl if she was going to lay on her lap and go to sleep. The little girl said, “No. Miss Wini’s!” My sister-in-law, at age 40-something, still sits in her mom’s lap at least once every time she comes home. That’s where I want you to put yourself: in a lap, with arms as soft as wings wrapped around you, your head on a shoulder. defines refuge as shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.; a place of shelter, protection, or safety. The Bible speaks of God as a refuge many times. Next time we'll look at some of those verses.

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