in the shadow of your wings
Ever had one of those weeks when you keep seeing the same person over and over again in unexpected places?
I have learned that in the scriptures if the same words or phrases are repeated over again a few times that it is like having a neon sign saying ‘did you miss it? just in case here it is again…. and again here.’ What about when you’re going about your day, and the same message keeps popping up in different places and ways? This post is a snapshot of how God reached out to me last week in such an inspiring way. All started with words on a page increasing over the week culminating in something that was so clear that not only a child could understand… but we could hold in our hands.
See if you can spot the ties that link these separate glimpses in one week together: under wings, refuge, shadow, bird.
This month I’m doing a Bible Study on the Book of Ruth. One particular homework question pointed to the following verses – and asked: What does it mean to be “under his wings”? What does one find there?
Boaz speaking to Ruth:
…The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” Ruth 2:12
and Psalms 91:1-4 which says:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Driving to co-op in the morning on Air1 they were talking about how comforting it is to be under the refuge of God’s wings and I thought ‘oh, that’s funny, that’s exactly what we’ve been talking about in our homework.’ The song either before or after that was Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Follow” whose lyrics just so happen to be printed on the cover of my study binder.Where you go I’ll go, I’ll go Where you stay, I’ll stay When you love, I’ll move I will follow you
Well, that’s Ruth to Naomi right there.
At our co-op Pebbles and I are taking a Beginning Hebrew language class which has been SO interesting. In light of learning more about the Hebrew origins of words etc. I had been watching some videos by Brad Scott of Wildbranch Ministries and one thing that struck me that he said over and over again was:
“…. it’s revealed in the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees…. it’s seen everywhere. If it’s from God, and it’s true, it’s everywhere. Otherwise it’s just another theological position that will change 15 years from now into something else.”
After our Bible study evening where we actually at length discussed our homework questions I came home to discover that at sunset my husband had rescued a baby fledgling bird from drowning in our pool! He couldn’t fly, couldn’t walk, was stumbling around barely hanging on to our pool safety net before about to drop into the water. He grabbed a pole and a net quickly ran over there and was able to grab him. It was now dark outside and the two birds that were hovering around had long left. He put it into a small box with soft torn up tissues to make a temporary nest. He mushed up some dog kibble with water and put it in the corner just in case. The tiny bird with still tufts of downy fluff poking through the new feathers sat still as stone. At that time I was home, we plugged in a heating pad and low, put it on a table on the patio, put the box on top, and covered up everything with a towel to keep him warm throughout the night. We turned off the lights and at our bedtime prayers asked for God’s protection over him through til morning.
I was woken up at sunrise by our puppy and stumbled downstairs to anxiously check on the baby bird. He was STILL ALIVE!! I was overjoyed. I heard the birds in the neighborhood singing and starting to fly about and hoped that if I put him back in a safe spot near where his parents saw him last, they would come check back there and see him. He was still in our makeshift nest box open to the world. I went inside and watched for an hour. First was one bird on the wall. Then a second. Hesitantly they darted around, but sure enough, on their own taking turns they flew down to the wagon !!! I didn’t get in the way, I suspect that they were bringing him food. This went on for some time when confident that they had reunited I went outside to take him out of the box and put him beyond the wall away from the pool towards the trees. Surprisingly, they had already encouraged him to hop/fly out of the box, out of the wagon and was stumbling around on the pool deck again! So I gently scooped him up, he wrapped his tiny claws around my finger tight, and I put him safely to the outside of the fence. He barely let go.
Retreating back inside to not get in the way I let them be for many hours. Pebbles did some research and we think it’s a House Finch. One of them was red/pink head throated, the other one very brown heathery colors. I checked back again later and he was STILL there! Just sitting there frozen. He was so beautifully camouflaged against our desert rocks he just looked like another rock. With concern for him being out in the open I reached to pick him up to move him more under the protection of the trees when he managed to flutter/fly for a couple feet. I smiled, he was getting stronger already and I knew his parents weren’t far off. It was just a small temporary help to keep him warm and safe – his refuge – for the night until he could join his family once more.
Today, after the baby bird reunion excitement – I came back inside and checked my email. There was an email from Logos promoting BibleScreen.com (a streaming animation service.) It looked interesting so I clicked on it. Not only was the animation really dynamic and well done ….. the verse yet one more time pointed to the same message but from a different verse.
“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light..” Psalm 36:5-9
OK, now if all those connections weren’t enough for me to see them…. and think ‘huh, this just can’t be a fun coincidence’…. one more very cool one.
Before the baby bird was probably wobbling around on a tree nearby …. Pebbles had been busy drawing on the ipad a picture of a bird – a Phoenix. The combination of the app called Inspire Pro Painting and her bamboo pen creates not only a fun method to draw with, but it records every brush stroke so that you can watch your drawing come to life again and again with the click of a button. She was partway through her drawing hubby said when the bird drama started to enfold. She finished the drawing afterwards. Just interesting I think, the bird/Phoenix rising into the sunset sky starting a whole new life. So very fitting and I feel, certainly not just serendipity. She called it “The Flight of the Phoenix,”
So – very simple on the surface: under wings, refuge, shadow, bird. All I know, is that is a lot of interlocking repetition for one week and I’ll be honest and tell you that I’m not really certain what it might mean for my life if this is a message. I do feel that this is a very comforting message that we are like the fragile baby bird taking much refuge under our God’s wings. I’ve learned that if we open our hearts, get quiet, get out of our own self busy interest, and be aware…. the messages from God are right in front of us daily. Sometimes in a word, sometimes in a song, or a piece of artwork. It’s been a difficult few weeks for our family and when we think we’re in the shadows or darkness and there is little hope – like in Pebbles’ drawing the canvas is black but then the light warms and shines through and we realize that we’re under the wings of our Father and there is much hope. I don’t normally EVER write posts like this …. but this one I just had to share.
** Update **
I had a nagging feeling that an ‘additional glimpse’ was one that had been experienced during our Hebrew class so I emailed our friend/teacher if she could remember what we could possibly had been talking about that relates to shadow/under wings/refuge etc. After reading this post she wrote with what connects these dots so beautifully. I hope that this can provide some inspiration or meaning to you in your life today.
I think I know what you probably heard me say now after reading your blog…I would have said something like the Tzitziyot or fringes of the garment are called ‘wings’ and the woman with the issue of blood would have reached out and touched the ‘hem’ or wings of Messiah’s garment because she knew or likely would have known the prophesy that Messiah would come with healing in His ‘wings,’ thus she thought, if I could just touch the hem or fringe of His garment I will be healed. Now the tzitziyot/fringes specifically represent the commandments of God sprouting out from not just the garment but from our lives symbolically, as they are for us to look upon and remember God’s commandments. That is their function, to look on them and remember God’s commandments and to obey God’s commandments so we do not forget. It’s like the original WWJD reminder. When we walk according to His commandments it is a protection to us. We are ‘choosing’ life. When we walk outside of God’s commandments we open ourselves up for the consequences of ‘choosing’ death in whatever area we are choosing that contradicts God’s Word. Thus, we are walking outside the protection God has provided for us in that area in which we disobey. Thus, to be ‘under the shadow of His wings’ is to stay within the protection He has provided in His Word, and His Word is an expression of His heart, which is where one would be located nearest to when one is pulled close under His wing.