Rhythm of Life
Rhythm of Life
Sheltered by His Presence
“. . . how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wing, and you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37
When I was a child, the small library in my church was located just off the main entrance hall, and it was a portal to a wonderful world. Tall shelves stood stacked in a tiny room not much bigger than today’s walk-in closets. Every selection had been catalogued and then lovingly covered with brown library paper. A church library is a blessing of exploration, and for avid readers the books were both friends and treasures.
One well-thumbed book recounted a number of little anecdotes, word pictures telling of God’s sovereign care. In a particularly memorable story, the writer told of a prairie hen who had not survived the ravages of a grass fire, but who had somehow covered her chicks so that they could live. It was such a clear proof of her fierce protective and sacrificial love.
In the passage above we read of Jesus’ grief as he yearns over the city of Jerusalem. The Jewish leaders had not understood the love of God as he sent prophets to plead with them, to warn them of the consequences of their ways. And now they were so blinded by their self-righteousness and rigid codes of law that they couldn’t even recognize their Messiah or their need of Him.
And so they couldn’t comprehend Jesus’ tears at their unwillingness to accept Him now. Their stubborn and proud hearts had predictable consequences, with far more at stake than they knew. So much unnecessary suffering could have been averted. Instead, Jewish rebellion against Rome caused the destruction of Jerusalem and exile from their homeland for almost two thousand years.
And still God doesn’t abandon them, or us as believers. The Bible assures us that someday, God will again come and live with us, make his home among us. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, take away death, mourning, crying, pain because we will be sheltered by His Presence (Revelations 21).
In these turbulent times, we as a believing community can already experience that safe haven, a small foretaste of heaven. For we are always and forever protected by God’s love, through the One who sacrificed himself so we could shelter under His wings through the storms.