Under His Wings of Refuge
The Old Testament has 92 verses with the word refuge. One of my favorites is Psalm 91:4: "He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."
This scripture reminds me of the day I saw a mother hen give refuge to her chicks in time of danger. We decided it was time to let the chicks and their mother out of the chicken coup. They were young, but big enough to start exploring the world. I sat down to watch the chicks follow after their mom. Each one pecked at the ground not necessarily finding food. A couple of them would get behind and have to run quickly to catch up with their siblings.
Just about the time I was ready to get up and go inside, I heard a sound coming from above. It was a hawk. The mother hen immediately lifted her wings and made her own unique sound. All but one chick ran under the protection of her wings. Not one of those chicks could be seen under her feathers. The little chick that hesitated, ran around in circles and was panicked. It didn't take long before she reached her mom, moved her way around, and then worked her way up under the hen's wing of protection.
Psalm 9:9-10 says, "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."
Oppressed: to weigh heavily on the mind, spirit, or senses; worried; trouble.
Refuge: A source of help, relief, or comfort in times of trouble.
That hen was there to protect her little ones. What about when mom's not there? What do you do when it's time for your 16-year-old to take off for the first time in his car alone? Just like those chicks, it was time to let my son explore the world behind the wheel of a car. The word oppressed sounds too strong but the definition definitely described what was going on in my mind. Also, I wasn't running around in circles, panicked, like that baby chick. But, I did need to calm my mind and spirit so I could go on with my daily activities.
I needed a source of help, relief and comfort...a refuge in times of trouble. In my case it was a refuge in time of worry (there was no trouble yet). My refuge was God's Word and prayer. I prayed for protection around my son and his car. When it comes down to it, what else can I do?
I've got to let him grow up.
Update: I started this devotional back when my son was 16-years-old and never finished it. I had to laugh because...
1. Our dog, killed all but one of the baby chicks. Boy, was he in trouble that day. He was a bird dog; he couldn't help himself.
2. My son has been in five accidents since he got his license; two of which were his fault. Thankfully, they were minor and no one was hurt (thank God).
Bad stuff happens while we're here on earth. There's no way around it. I might not be physically safe, but I'm always spiritually safe because I trust in the Lord. I am saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
Amen! Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness.