May is the month of Mother’s Day, and I’ve decided to have Mom as my guest blogger for the entire month. ‘Hope you’ll comment on her wise words. I’ll be sure to pass them along to her!
When the religious leaders of the day asked Jesus to state the greatest commandment, he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
The Pharisees had added to the commandments God gave Moses, tacking on so many rules and regulations that the list was almost impossible to remember, let alone obey. Of course, this made the religious leaders seem pious and powerful. Then along came Jesus, who condensed the commandments into two simple statements. Love God. Love your neighbor. In essence, Jesus robbed the leaders of their power and, as you can imagine, they hated him for that.
Jesus didn’t return their hate. He even said, when they sought to kill him, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” (Luke 13:34). Jesus longed to take care of his people. He still does. He longs to take care of you and me, even with all our imperfections. Picture God as a mother hen and us as his chicks.
- Some of us stay fairly close to him but often think about wandering off. There’s a bit of something we want to explore over near the barn.
- Some of us are just pecking away in the dirt, drifting further and further away and feeling pretty proud of our independence.
- Some of us are almost out of earshot altogether.
When a dangerous storm comes up, a mother hen will call her chicks home and gather them under her wings to protect them. The ones nearby, the strutting independents, and the far off ones all get the same shelter, the same care.
Sometimes we’re like those chicks. We’ve fallen short so many times that we doubt God could care about us. We may be going through such sad, confusing, or painful times that we can barely hear God’s call. We just don’t know where to go for help. Here’s where to go—under his wings. The book of Psalms reminds us of that fact over and over:
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 17:8).
“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 36:7).
“I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1).
I think perhaps this one is my favorite:
“He will cover you with His feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4).
God longs to cover each of us and shield us. We haven’t wandered too far away to hear his voice. We just need to stop and listen.