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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Shadow of God's Wings

"In the shadow of Your wings will I make my refuge" (Psalm 57:1)

What comfort the shadow gives, and what a refuge is thus provided! That passage had for me a specially personal interest, for I had chosen it as the motto-text for the anniversary of my beloved's birthday - June 19: and on that date I wrote thus concerning it:

Today's text is a very precious one to me, for though my dear one enjoys the full blaze of the light of God's countenance, while I am only "in the shadow of His wings," yet how blessed is it to rejoice in such a refuge - "Until the storm of life be past!"

It is very gracious of the Lord to use the homely illustration of "wings" and "feathers" in His Word, for the comfort of His people. The most simple, as well as the most sorrowful, can understand the beauty of it. Many a time have I profitably watched the feathered folk of the farmyard, and been taught by them that, in every time of trouble, be it little or great, the safest place in all the world is, "under the wings."

How well the wee chicks know this! When the least thing alarms them, or the drops of rain come pattering down then fly quickly to their mother's wings for shelter and safety, and you can see nothing of them but a collection of legs, tiptoeing in their eagerness to press very close to the warm breast which covers them!

Sometimes, I have dared to claim even such an experience! Not content with the blessed fact that I was hidden "beneath His wings," my faith nestled up, as it were, to the loving heart which brooded over me, and found such a glow of everlasting love there, that all outside ills and evils were as if they were not. Oh, that such times were less rare!

But if any timid, afflicted souls read these few lines, let me whisper to them to run at once to their God, "when troubles assail, and dangers afright." We are so safe when "covered with His feathers," so cared for, and comforted, and welcomed, so defended from everything that could harm us.

In one place the text reads, "Hide me beneath the shadow of Your wings." The hen effectually conceals her brood from any passing enemy - but God is an impenetrable hiding-place for His people. Surely this is the meaning of the psalmist when he says, "I will trust in the covert of Your wings" (Psalm 61:4).

Is it not a sad wonder that, sometimes, we willfully stay out in the rain and the storm, facing unknown dangers - when, all the while, so gracious a shelter is provided and accessible?

1. How does the believer find refuge in "God's wings?"

2. How do the "wings of God" provide safety?

3. Do I make it my practice, like a baby chick, to take refuge in the shelter that God provides through His Word, even during "the least thing that alarms me?"

[It is not so much a physical refuge as a spiritual one. It is a refuge for the soul that runs to God in prayer and rests itself in the "wings" of His promises, which are all "yes and amen" in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:19-20).

~Susannah Spurgeon~

(late wife of Charles Hadden Spurgeon)

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