Recently, I replied to a comment made to me on a social media network site, from a loved one wanting to express loving words towards me on the occasion of my birthday. Even though I have no desire to celebrate this day, I am aware that others still do. My brief reply was, “I love you more than my life.” as a way of thanks and acknowledgement, without giving offense. As you might guess, these were words from a mother to a child. No matter our child’s age, they will always remain our child, even if the parents happen to be octogenarians!
These words readily spilled forth without any time to think or decide what to say. It was pure and heartfelt, from deep within my core. As any loving mother would know, the natural love that a mother has for a child is incredibly pure and absolutely selfless. A mother will protect their child from any harm, any threat, and any danger, in order to ensure safety even if her own life is lost in the process.
The reply which I wrote reminded me of a scripture found in Luke 13:34: “…How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings...”
These words were spoken by Jesus Christ when he was lamenting about the way the nation of Israel repeatedly refused, throughout history, to be gathered by Him. Rather than remaining faithful, they chose to be unfaithful, and were even found guilty of killing prophets and stoning those sent to warn and save them.
The protection of bird’s wings
In the Psalms and throughout the Bible we can find many references to wings. Birds and hens were created with wings. The domestic hen cannot fly any great distance, but she clearly demonstrates a very affectionate nature towards her young by sheltering her chicks under the warmth of the downy softness between her wings and bosom or breast. She nurtures them so that they will thrive and grow, and when danger is present she screens them by covering them over completely. The young are shielded and kept safe.
This vision of a mother providing protection can clearly relate to us as God’s children. Just like baby chicks who may wander away from the safety of their mother to explore, we as God’s children often likewise wander off to do our own thing, enticed by our own desires and the temptations of the world. We place ourselves in great danger when we wander from the protection the Father and His Son have offered to Their children. The ravenous wolf (Satan) would like nothing more than to consume those chicks, and certainly kill and destroy us. But we can take great comfort in God’s love for us as Jesus Christ tells us, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Tender love from the Head of the church
Jesus Christ is the head of His church (Ephesians 1:22-23) and is our chief corner-stone (Ephesians 2:19-22). We are part of this church family – members of the household of God. As such, we are offered safety, nourishment, rest, healing, and refuge. Our creator, like any good parent, gives us protection under the loving care and tender warmth of His embrace, with great affection. Jesus Christ gave His life for each and every one of us so that our lives could be saved and He gave His life willingly. (John 10:17-18)
King David clearly understood the great love God had for him and others. He repeatedly asked for ongoing protection and faithfully trusted in God’s ability and will. David used examples of bird’s wings in many of the Psalms. Some accounts are provided here to meditate on. In Psalm 17:8 he prayed to God to “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings”. In Psalm 36:7 he proclaimed, “How precious is your loving-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings”.“I will abide in your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of your wings”, “Because you have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of your wings I will rejoice”. “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge” (Psalm 61:4, Psalm 63:7, and Psalm 91:4).
His exquisite love for us
According to Google, the adjective form of exquisite is defined as “jewel-like portraits”. By Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary “Marked by flawless craftsmanship or by beautiful, ingenious, delicate, or elaborate execution”.
As humans, even with God’s Spirit inside us, we struggle to fully comprehend the great love He has for us. As yet, we are not complete. We realize that we are in the process of being transformed and that we are God’s jewels in the making (Malachi 3:17). We are being molded and fashioned into something reliable and serviceable by the work of His hand (Isaiah 64:8). If we keep God’s commandments, we show love to Jesus Christ and the Father (John 14:21). Yes, we will struggle and we may at times fall short of keeping those commandments as we should while we inhabit these human bodies, because we are sinners (Romans 3:23). Even though this is true, both God the Father and Jesus Christ still made the most loving sacrifice for us, the sacrifice of the only Begotten Son of the Father; Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8). How do we fully understand, comprehend and meditate on God’s perfect love for us as a parent who seeks to care for and gather His children under his wing? The following scriptural reference may help.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 3:14-19, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”.