Psalms 61:4 and Chicken Wings

Psalms 61:4

Let me dwell in your tent forever!

   Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah


How privileged I am to “dwell” with the Lord God. When I imagine the security, provision, and comfort of “dwelling” and “refuge under the shelter of your wings” I think of my chickens.

A broody hen will sit, devoted to her eggs for weeks. Anything or anyone who approaches is subject to a stern peck and clucky scolding. She puffs out her feathers and flattens her body over the brood. She sacrifices herself for the life of these babes. Some hens will not leave the nest for food or water (in those cases, I move her and the nest to a brooding cage with food and water where the other birds cannot bother her).

When the chicks hatch, she carefully gathers them under herself. She walks them around the barnyard, calling them back to her often as she teaches them to scratch for food and dip beaks to drink. I have witnessed mama hens chase away dogs and curious cats from their chicks. I have seen mama hens scurry their babies to the shelter of her wings when a hawk flies overhead. In fact, I have heard many stories of the hen even dying as she protects the chicks.

What is even more remarkable, is that a broody hen will hatch other birds and raise them as her own. I have had chickens hatch ducklings and turkeys. They love them just the same. I am comforted reflecting on this fact: I am adopted into the family of God through Christ, and He loves me just the same. Not by anything I did or could ever do.

An egg only sits in the nest. It seems almost like a rock, no sign of life. But when the egg is fertilized and receives heat and the right conditions take place, a heart starts beating. Like people who hear the Word, however, not all hearts keep beating. Some stop developing. I don’t know why. They just don’t thrive. Some die in the shell right when they should be hatching. Others hatch but are too weak and die. Then there are the eggs that hatch healthy chicks. They grow up and have their own chicks. Those chicks take shelter under wings.

This simple fact of creation binds me to the psalter: what he watched, I watch. His God is my God. That’s really something.

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