I’ve been sick all week. I don’t like to use the F word, but this feels an awfully lot like… the FLU. I have turned my living room into my school room/office and have taken up residence on my couch for the last 4 days. All school work and regular work has been conducted from this place that is adequately stocked with tissues, hot tea, cold medicine, blankets, and pillows. It has been my little refuge and I’ve been very grateful for a comfortable place to ride out this yucky virus.
This could be the Day-Quil or maybe even the fever talking, but God has been speaking a specific verse to me this week that I wanted to share with you. It involves birds and penguins and couches, so give me a little grace and mercy here. Maybe I should warn you that I’ve taken cold medicine and have a little fever.
Each morning, as part of our homeschool curriculum, my kids do some copy work form the Bible. Monday morning, when I was feeling particularly cruddy, our verse to copy was Psalm 91:4a. From my little alcove on the couch, I read aloud,
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge…”
My oldest son was particularly interested in this verse and it started a pretty great conversation about the character and qualities of God. That is one of the things that I cherish about homeschooling. I love the way when something peaks our interest, we can take the time to delve into it. On Monday, we took the time to do just that.
I shared a story with my kids that I remember hearing somewhere years ago. It isn’t really Biblical, and probably not even factual, but I love the way that it illustrates this verse. Because I was delirious with fever, I even acted it out for them. You can imagine that as you read the story, if you would like.
A mama bird was in the forest when a forest fire broke out. Her little babies were not big enough to fly yet and she knew they were not fast enough to get away from the fire. The mama feared for her babies lives. As the fire got closer the mama saw her only chance of saving her precious babies. She opened her wings and crouched low to the ground and welcomed them under her feathers. She gathered them tightly into her and wrapped them in the shelter of her wings. The fire swept rapidly through the forest and the mama fell victim to the flames. As the firemen came to put out the fire they saw the mama bird crouched there and heard a muffled noise. The firemen picked up the mama bird and the babies were still there, unharmed, wrapped in the protective shelter of her wings.
I can’t remember where I heard this. I’m not even sure it is possible. But I love illustration that it provides. Pretend with me for a moment, that it is possible. Can you imagine being that baby bird? As the fire rages and the world is in chaos, you are safely tucked in a place of refuge.
My oldest was a little skeptical about this story. Wouldn’t the babies die too? Why didn’t they all burn up? Maybe. I’m not really sure. I hated to leave him questioning, but God, in His very cool, God like way, gave us another example yesterday. I love when He comes through for me in those little ways that build up my faith and the faith of my kiddos.
You see, unfortunately, Sunday and Monday were just a little introduction to yuckiness that I was feeling. Yesterday I felt awful. In sheer desperation for some quietness, I turned to my very favorite substitute teacher, Amazon Prime. We are studying zoology this year for Science, and the video, March of The Penguins, would not only tie in perfectly, it would give me an hour and twenty minutes of quiet.
God used this very interesting movie to illustrate this verse again for me and for my boys. He gave us a perfect example of a real life scenario of the mama bid and the baby birds. Penguin mamas lay one egg a year and then must rush off to get food. The Daddy penguin is responsible for caring for the very delicate egg in the harsh Artic winter for months. To do this, he sets the egg down on top of his claws and tucks it underneath of his tummy. He snuggles down on top of it to completely envelop it IN THE SHELTER OF HIS FEATHERS. As the ragged winter rages on and the artic winds blow, the Daddy penguin safely shields the egg from the cold and the storms. His feathers trap in enough heat to keep the egg warm and they also provide protection against the elements. His protective feathers keep the egg alive and safe so that it can hatch in the spring.
My boys and I discussed this and talked about how God is that place of refuge for us. I compared it to my little sick bed that I had set up in the living room. It was my place of comfort in the chaos of sickness. It had everything that I needed and was a place that I felt safe and cared for. Tucked away there, being sick wasn’t so bad.
As I explained to my boys, this world is a crazy place filled with chaos. Fires tear through. Cold winds blow. Storms rage on. But, Psalm 91:4 says that in the midst of all of the things that happen around us, God wraps us in his wings to offer us refuge and protection and shelter. He is our calm in the storm. He is our shelter from the forces that could harm us. He is that comfortable, safe place to find rest.
When life gets a little crazy, we have the opportunity to be like those little baby birds. God, like that mama bird, opens his wings to welcome us into His protection and provision, but we must go there. We must be like that little penguin egg and stay nestled under our Father’s protective embrace. He promises to be our place of peace, provision, protection, and comfort if we rest in Him.
So, maybe it is the Day-Quil or maybe it is the fever, but I can totally relate to the little egg and the baby birds. I love knowing that my God offers me a refuge. When I face trail and chaos in this life, I run into the open arms of my Father. I look to him to provide that place of shelter and protection. I look to Him to lovingly care for me, and I don’t fear because I’m nestled safely under his wings.
Love and Blessings,