Just Like a Mother Bird

by Sandra Chambers

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4 NIV

During my morning walk today, I saw an interesting site—a tiny bird was chasing a much larger bird in midair. It was quite a sight as the little bird darted back and forth, at times getting fearlessly close to the larger bird. Back and forth they flew, zigzagging and circling overhead.

At first I was puzzled, expecting the larger bird to turn at any moment and give chase to the smaller one. Then it dawned on me—the smaller bird might be a mother bird protecting her nest that was nearby. The larger bird was possibly perceived as a predator after the eggs or young hatchlings.

When the midair confrontation finally stopped and the larger bird flew away, I began to think about several scriptures in the Bible where God is anthropomorphically described as a bird offering His wings of protection:

  • He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4 NIV
  • I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Psalm 61:4 NIV
  • How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7 NIV
  • I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. Psalm 57:1 NIV

In the New Testament, Jesus also speaks of himself as a mother hen, longing to protect God’s chosen people:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Matthew 23:37 NIV

We have a God who fiercely protects His own. He offers us comfort and refuge from the storms of life and from our enemies. We can do the same for those we love by pointing them to God and praying for them. As believers, God gives us the privilege and power to stand in prayer for our family members, our friends, our co-workers and church members. We can be like that mother bird who defends others because God has given us the mighty weapon of prayer to route our enemies.

When I face an enemy that seems bigger than me—whether in my life or the life of others, I want to remember that little bird’s boldness as it flew over and over again at the perpetrator. I want to remember that prayer is a mighty weapon and that God offers His wings of protection to all who would take refuge there.

This article has been brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Sandra Chambers has a desire to help Christians find joy and purpose in their prayer life and has written a personal or small group study, Lord, It’s Boring in My Prayer Closet—How to Revitalize Your Prayer Life. Her current writing projects include picture books and kid’s devotionals to help children find a personal relationship with God, develop godly character traits and discover their self-worth and purpose in God. Discover more about Sandra at sandrakaychambers.com.

Join the conversation: What other metaphors found in Scripture describing a characteristic of God are meaningful to you?

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3 thoughts on “Just Like a Mother Bird

  1. I love the image of El Shaddai protecting us. The picture of a nurturing, compassionate, yet fiercely protector is encouraging. Thanks, Sandra.

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  2. Sandra, here’s another aspect of birds. I was once out on the golf course and driving the cart down the path, I noticed a bird limping in front of me. I figured out he/she was purposefully limping to draw me away from it’s nest. That bird loved it’s young so much it would do anything–like chasing a bigger bird–or hoping the big human will take advantage of a wounded bird. God can do whatever it takes to protect us. Thanks for sharing your story, Sandra. Jesus was willing to not just be wounded but died for our sins. Praise God, He rose from the grave victorious.

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