I love the picture of God as a bird. I personally picture him as an eagle in this Scripture:
Psalm 91:4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
I found out that mother eagles fly under their young in order to catch them on their very wide wings if they fall. What a beautiful picture of watchful care and meaningful presence as these babies learn to fly on their own. An eagle’s wings can mirror our human life experience. Our life experiences have given us knowledge and understand that can protect them from unnecessary danger. Predators know that they can’t get to an eagle’s babies if they are hiding under their mom or dad’s wings.
Protecting our children is one of the main duties of a parent. I often think of the mother bear or mother lion who ferociously attacks any predator who comes after its young. Since families are the building block of communities I can easily extend this role of protection to the Bible figures Noah and King David. Being warned by God of mass judgment and destruction, Noah built an ark to protect his family from disaster and the Warrior King David fought to protect his people from the Philistines and Syrians in 2 Samuel chapter 8.
Google defines refuge like this: “a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.”
Our God is a perfect protector. We can snuggle in the safety of his authority. He is safe. No matter what you learned in bible class, you don’t have to be afraid that God will give you any disease or calamity. Bad experiences come into our lives as a consequence of our individual choices and living in a natural world affected by the effects of sin in mankind. Our Creator-Redeemer is caring. He seeks to rescue us and he desires to be our refuge.
As parents we are quick to protect our children from the dangers without, but what about from dangers that come from within their own hearts and our own homes?
While we’ll never do a perfect job, it’s helpful to remember that our homes should be sanctuaries of safety from trouble. In our technologically advanced culture, this may mean internet safety. When they are school age it means making sure that they know how to judge character and develop healthy friendships. When they are young, it’s making sure that we instruct with clarity and patience.
Furthermore as parents, we need to take inventory of our choices, attitudes and actions. Kids are watching and listening at all times. Is kindness and tenderness evident in our actions? Do we gossip to our friends? How much are we on our phones, laptops, tablets, etc?
Covering our children is much more than providing the best shelter possible. It’s a place where their souls –minds, emotions, physical bodies — are protected from anything that would cause a trauma or a wound that keeps them from knowing God as a safe authority figure. When wounds do come from within…from within our homes due to our rash responses or quick tempers, may we be quick to apologize and comfort.
I firmly believe that the better we know God as safe and use him as our covering and refuge, the better we’ll be able to offer the same for our own children. We can learn from the best when we remind ourselves that we too are children, under the care of a safe God who sent His only begotten Son to rescue us from trouble.
1 John 3:8 For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Galatians 1:3-4 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.