I am privileged to have been a guest writer for Rambling Ever On for about seven years now. I guess you could say I’m the token “veteran writer,” because of my age. As a curiosity, I may draw in a few readers of my generation, and if so, I’m glad, because it’s good reading, inspirational, informative, and thought-provoking. I want to see REO’s audience grow. However, I in no way can compare to the brilliant group of 40 and 30-somethings who comprise the REO team. Blessings, guys!
UNDER HIS WINGS
I find the words “Under His Wings” captivating, informative, reassuring, and inspirational. Not only because they are the title of a well-known older hymn of the church, but even more because of how the Scriptures use this metaphor for our benefit and blessing.
In Matthew 23:37-39; verse 37b we read where Jesus stood within the ancient city of Jerusalem, within days of a horrible death on the cross, lamenting the refusal of the people of Jerusalem, and particularly its religious leaders to come to Him as Messiah and Savior. He said, “How often would I have gathered you as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you would not.”
What a beautiful word picture of what trusting Christ is, and of the tragedy of failing to run to Him! Do you see and feel Jesus’ heartbreak because the people of Jerusalem will not come to Him? (Compare Matthew 11:28-30 where the meek and lowly Jesus offers rest to all those who “labor and are heavy laden.” “Rest for your souls” is freely offered, but it must be received.)
In Psalm 91:4, the Psalmist compares God’s care, concern, and comfort to wings that cover and protect us, like a bird sheltering its young under protective wings. These metaphors from nature, while sounding a little strange to us in modern times, convey a powerful picture of God’s sufficiency and God’s desire to provide for us the care we need, yet we must run to Him and seek that sweet refuge.
One compelling application we take from this is that Jesus invites sinners, which all of us are, to come to Him and find refuge and salvation from the storm of God’s wrath on sin, but we must respond to that invitation. Let’s continually be about the business of pointing people to the Savior and inviting them to commit themselves to Him.
Another lesson for believers is that drawing close to Him, and staying there is the key to assurance, security, and victory. As the wings of the hen protect her chicks, so Christ’s “wings” i.e., presence, are our place of perfect peace and safety. Let us always remind each other to draw near to Him.
The lovely hymn “Under His Wings” (1896) expresses so well in these three stanzas the assurance that can be ours.
Under His wings I am safely abiding, Though the night deepens, and tempests are wild, Still I can trust Him, I know He will keep me, He has redeemed me, and I am His child. Under His wings - what a refuge in sorrow! How the heart yearningly turns to His rest! Often when earth has no balm for my healing There I find comfort, and there I am blest. Under His wings - oh, what precious enjoyment! There will I hide till life's trials are o'er; Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me, Resting in Jesus I'm safe evermore.
What a beautiful, encouraging message! As the second stanza states “often when earth has no balm for my healing, there I find comfort, and there I am blest.” He alone is able; He is our “all in all!”
Then, about 30 years ago a singing group from North Carolina named the Ruppes, mother Brenda and her daughters, sang a song with the same title that included the chorus of the traditional hymn in a powerful conclusion. What comfort, what encouragement, what assurance we find “Under His wings!”
My way was filled with danger, I felt alone. The enemy had singled me out to do me wrong. And when he drew near, my heart filled with fear, Then I heard someone dear calling me to His side. And I ran under His wings, There He covered me, and now I can see, The enemy still looks for me, But what he can't see is that I'm under my Lord's wings. Under His wings Thunder rolled, dark clouds hung low. I was out in a storm. Shivering in the coldness there No safe retreat from harm. And there were strong winds, would this be my end? And then I heard my friend calling me to His side. And I ran under His wings. There He covered me, and now I can see. The storm still rages, but in the rock of ages I'm resting warmly here under my Lord's wings Under His wings And there He covered me, and now I can see...
Then that powerful chorus that concludes both the ancient hymn and the modern song:
Under His wings, under His wings, Who from His love can sever? Under His wings my soul shall abide Safely abide forever.
It kind of leaves me speechless, but here are some conclusions:
Jesus is our supreme treasure. All of life, the meaning of life, life itself is found in Him, and Him alone. Outside of Him, we literally have nothing of eternal value.
Jesus is our sure refuge, our strong protector. Our peace, our security, our defender.
Jesus is our source of joy. In Him is life, and life more abundant. (John 10:10)
(Featured Image by freestockcenter on Freepik.)