I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
    Bend down and listen as I pray.
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
    By your mighty power you rescue
    those who seek refuge from their enemies.
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.[a]
    Hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:6-8

I get most of these verses.  I’ve read them.  I’ve prayed them.  Like most contemporary worshipers I’ve even sung them a time or two-hundred.  Until I get to the shadow of Your wings part… If man is made in the image of God where, and how, does the whole wing thing play in? 

When the girls were really little we took them to the beach in hopes of doing what vacationers do.  Every day we would leave the sanctity of our comfortable condo to cross the street and fire walk scorching sand.   Wrapped, draped, and saddled with every unnecessary gadget and non-lifesaving floatation device available.  Flip flops throwing sand up my back all the way to the shore.  The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the seagulls are…segulling, the waves are crashing. This is the moment we came for!  Just one catch.  Daughter number one is scared to death.  Doesn’t want a thing to do with the water.  No problem, we have an umbrella!  Problem, she won’t stay under it.  Let’s try to dip her in the ocean water to keep her cool! Good luck.  How about we bring buckets of cold water up to her?! Try again.  So as she played on the beach for the first time, I found myself standing over her, moving with her…letting her sit in my shadow.  And there it was, that ah-ha moment of Holy Spirit inspired revelation.  God the Father sent Jesus to take the heat.  Heat that He knew would have killed us.  A go-between.  A conciliator.  A mediator.  The Savior. 

Does God have literal wings?  I don’t know.  But I do know He has provided a covering to take the punishment we deserve.  A constant shelter from things that would otherwise overtake us.  And yes…He spreads wide a shielding shadow we may be living in the middle of right now, without even knowing it. 

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Central Christian Church | Mount Vernon, Illinois