Image by Radovan Zierik from Pixabay

Sometimes there can be something very powerful right above you, and you’re not even aware of it.

I’ve found this out a few times while on a walk in a nature area.

I’ll think I’m totally alone: I don’t see or hear any other creature.

But then suddenly a large shadow will zoom across the path in front of my feet.

I look up to see what the shadow belongs to, and spot a majestic red-tailed hawk. He’d probably been circling above me the whole time, but he was so silent that I didn’t know he was there.

Recently, I came across two large, striped feathers on the ground. Their tell-tale markings told me they belonged to a bird of prey. Looking up into a nearby tree, I was surprised to see a hawk perched by its nest. I’d walked underneath the same tree many times before without realizing the nest was even there.

In each case, the bird had been right there with me, but I initially hadn’t been aware of its presence.

Similarly, sometimes we feel that God isn’t near us.

We can’t see or hear Him. We can’t seem to feel His presence in our lives. It feels like we’re alone in our struggles.

But there is something (or rather, Someone) powerful right above us, who promises to never leave us or forsake us. God’s children are never truly alone.

There are some beautiful Scriptures that liken God’s faithful care of us to a bird’s protection of its chicks.

“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)

Other translations read: “He will protect you like a bird spreading its wings over its young.”

Image by Hans Benn from Pixabay
“Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me,
For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge
Until destruction passes by.” (Psalm 57:1)
“Keep me as the apple of the eye;
Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” (Psalm 17:8)

God gathers us to Himself with His huge outstretched arms—under them we’re perfectly safe.

Even when it seems like we’re going through a trial alone, He’s right there with us.

If we look closely, we’ll discover that there is tell-tale evidence that He is indeed present. He may send a friend with some encouraging words or practical help for us, or He may have us come across a Scripture that is exactly what we need to hear that day. Or He may intervene more directly in our situation.

Our circumstances might seem bewildering to us, but God never lets us go. He can fashion even the bad things in our lives into something that fulfills His purposes.

A good example of this is the Book of Esther in the Old Testament. It’s noted for being the only book in the Bible that doesn’t mention God. And yet God’s unmistakeable fingerprints are woven throughout the story of Esther and her cousin Mordecai.

It’s the same in our lives: even when God’s presence doesn’t seem obvious to us, we can rest assured that He is working in the lives of His children.

And occasionally, we might even see the shadow of His wings pass by!

“For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.”

psalm 63:7

© 2023 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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