Slideshow image

Buckling seatbelts. Wearing helmets while biking. Lathering on sunscreen. Spraying bug spray. Taking vitamins. Washing hands. Using hand sanitizer. Wiping surfaces down…repeatedly. Keeping a proper distance from other people. Staying home as much as possible. Following the mandates put in place. In the current stage of life, our instincts are beckoning us to protect…ourselves and others. We want to stay safe. We want to avoid getting sick. We want to safeguard our loved ones. Perhaps, we even wish we could put ourselves in an invisible bubble, allowing nothing to penetrate our safe zone. Knowing we can’t completely shield ourselves from every risk, every danger, every germ that’s “out there”, we battle against the fears, worries, and irrational thoughts that try to invade our personal space of security.

As we continue to follow our human instincts of self-preservation, a protective image from scripture comes to my mind: the image of a mother bird protecting her young, tucking them under her belly feathers or gathering them under her wings. In the same way, our heavenly Father protects His children, as stated in Psalm 91:4, “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” We need not fear; for our great God tucks us into the warmth of His love and we can peacefully rest in the assurance that He is our banner, our protector.

Another bird analogy in scripture is found in Isaiah 40:31: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” God will sustain us, give us our daily bread, strengthen us, and fill us with hope. Another translation states “those who wait on the Lord.” As we try to practice patience through these coronavirus days, through shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, may we know that we are not waiting on the government, but are waiting on the timing of our loving Father. He is protecting us and will tell us, in His timing, when it is safe to come out of hiding; safe to again take to the water or the air, to carry on with our swimming or flying lessons, to continue living our lives as we once did. Amid our frustrations and impatience, He only wants what is best for us. He is sovereign, we are His children, and He will not let us fall.

A song was written, based upon this passage - On Eagle’s Wings:

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord, "My Refuge
My Rock in Whom I trust."

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His Hand

You need not fear the terror of the night
Nor the arrow that flies by day
Under his wings your refuge
His faithfulness your shield

For to His angels He's given a command
To guard you in all of your ways
Upon their hands they will bear you up
Lest you dash your foot against a stone

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His Hand

Take heart and do not fear. When we are weak, He is strong. When we are afraid, He is our watchman. When we are questioning, He is all-knowing. When we lose hope, He is faithful. Our God is holding everything, keeping us all safe and sheltered, under the same wing.

Prayer: Father, Son and Spirit - Your word is full of images that paint a picture of your love for us. A love that forgives, shelters, upholds, empowers, encourages, comforts, sustains, and fills us. May the multifaceted gift of your love not only cover us over uniting us in peace, but also help us to soar through these trying times as we are upheld by your hand. For your glory, honor, and praise alone! Amen.

Pastor Kevin Heeres