“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings” (Psalm 36:7).
God’s wings are wings of refuge. When the storm comes, the mother-bird gathers her young beneath her wings and shelters them, bearing the pelting of the hail herself – but keeping them safe and warm. So also, Christ gathers His people beneath the wings of His love when the tempest breaks upon them.
“What tempest? From what do we need a refuge?” Does anyone ask such a question? Have you never felt the need of a refuge for your own life? Have you never felt yourself driven by fears, by dangers, by alarms, and by the wild tempests of sorrow or of doubt – needing some refuge, some secure place to hide, where you would be safe from the angry strife?
In all such times and experiences, there is a refuge beneath the wings of God! There is a refuge there, because it is mercy’s place. Under the wings of the cherubim, on the Ark of the Covenant, was the mercy seat. We have sinned. We need atonement. Those who flee beneath God’s wings – beneath the outstretched arms of the cross – have nothing to fear from their sins. They are forgiven. “There is now no condemnation.”
But this is not the only sense in which the wings of God give a refuge to people. You know the restful feeling that steals over one when, after a day out in the world – amidst its strife, its cares, its competitions, its babble of tongues, its insincerities, and its disappointments – he enters his own sweet and happy home and shuts his door. Home is a refuge to his heart. There he finds love, sincerity, no enmity, no competition, and no sharp dealing. Similarly, God is home to the human soul that trusts in Him. “Lord, you have been our dwelling-place from all generations!” (Psalm 90:1)
There is a sense in which a noble, true, and faithful human life is a refuge to many others. But the best human refuges are only frail and temporary. You turn some day for shelter, and find your friend dead. Then comes the shock, the temptation, the sorrow, the fear, and the danger; and you want to fly to him, but he is not there, and you are left to fall. Human refuges are well in their place, as gifts of God, and as temporary shelters; but you need to have the Rock of Ages for your refuge! Then you will never find your hiding place removed, when you need to flee into it. In any hour, you can creep into that shelter, and sing:
“Jesus, Lover of my soul, Let me to Your bosom fly, While the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high: Hide me, O my Savior, hide, Till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last! “Other refuge have I none; Hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, ah! leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me. All my trust on You is stayed, All my help from You I bring; Cover my defenseless head With the shadow of Your wing!”
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this article! Feel free to leave your reflections and ask your questions below.
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for our King’s glory,
photo by Carl Jorgensen | Unsplash.com
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on my website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.