How comforting it is to know that we can find refuge under the shadow of God’s wings. It is a beautiful metaphor of divine protection. One of the emotions of aging, at least for me, is that of feeling orphaned. When parents and other significant people in my life are no longer present, I often feel unprotected and vulnerable. Never was it more true than when I spent most of 2014 in the hospital.
The nights were long and lonely, and often sleep would not come to ease my anxiety. During those nights, I sometimes longed for the comfort of my grandmother who was probably the most constant protector in my younger years.
Like I did in those long nights, all of us experience times of utter aloneness. I am so blessed to be able to recall scripture, and during that hospitalization, two Psalms came to mind.
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
– Psalm 57:1 New International Version (NIV)
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge . . .
– Psalm 91:4 New International Version (NIV)
I learned what it feels like to be in the shadow of God’s wings. I learned how to feel safe during unsafe times. Thanks be to the God of comfort who covers us with wings of refuge when we most need to feel protected.