Stanley Jones tells a wonderful story of God’s love in his book, “Christian Maturity”: “A wildlife conservation officer drove past a grouse (a bird), in the center of the road, and he was surprised that she did not move when he swerved around her. He came back and saw in the meantime that six other cars had swerved around her, and still she did not move. When he came near, six little chicks ran out from under her wings.
“One of her wings was broken and her head was bloody. But she was saving others; herself she could not save.”
Psalm 36:7 reminds us that there is Another who provides winged protection in times of trouble. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. Ps. 118:8 takes it a flutter further: It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.
Eighteen months ago, Judy, a precious friend in Christ with whom I had lost touch, began to phone and text me, asking me if everything was okay with my family members. In her prayer time, God continually brought their faces before her, telling her to pray. Recently she drove several hundred miles to come to my home, pray with me for my family and remind me of the spiritual battle going on around us. Judy’s in-my-face visit was to remind me to stay close to God by speaking blessings on family members so they would walk in Truth.
“Satan is seeking to control them and destroy their walks with God,” said my friend. It was real. It was intentional. It was alarming.
Later that week another Christian friend called to “catch up.” The conversation was light and funny until I shared what Judy had told me. Her response was solemn. “We all need to hear that. I don’t pray blessings on my son (who has walked away from his faith); I just complain about it.” My traveling friend’s warning had legs.
How many times had I tossed the token “bless the kiddies and the grand-kiddies” umbrella prayer into the clouds, hoping it would filter its way into Heaven? How many times had I dismissed the power of the “prayers” I was mumbling, not recognizing the power in conversation with God? How many times had I not prayed, ignoring the One whose wings cover me and my loved ones 24/7?
Like the grouse, the Lord put his broken life on the line so that we might be saved. In my case He didn’t stop there. He sent a friend with a wake-up call for me to take nothing for granted.
How much more did He need to do to get my attention?