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Under the shelter of His wings
November 16, 2009
by Rev. Robert Hellmann, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Montrose

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the damage. One ranger found a bird petrified in ashes, perched like a statue on the ground at the base of a tree.

When he knocked over the bird with a stick, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, aware of the coming disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings.

She could have flown to safety, but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had singed her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings lived.

The mother bird’s action illustrates what God does for you. Psalm 91:2 says, “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge.”

Imagine that a raging inferno is threatening to destroy you. Every path that would lead to safety is cut off. You are trapped with no hope of escape.

That is exactly your spiritual condition before God. You are trapped by your sins against God’s Commandments. You may hide them from other people, but God knows every single one. The worst part is, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) You are trapped just like those birds.

Only God, Himself, could save you from your sins and their punishment. He sent someone who could do what the mother bird did for her chicks. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world.

Jesus took the searing fire of God’s judgment of your sins on Himself. He suffered for your sins so that you would not have to.

Now, Jesus invites you to come under the protection of His wings and be saved. He offers you forgiveness of sins and eternal life by faith in Him. He is the only way for you to escape God’s judgment.

Jesus is also a shelter for you from the storms of life. Sickness, family problems, temptations to sin, problems at work or school – all may come upon you. When these things happen, the devil tries to convince you that the Lord doesn’t love you, or that you can solve your problems outside of God’s will.

Reject the devil’s deceptive words. Instead, seek the Lord’s help through prayer and in His Word. For “under His wings, you will find refuge.”