On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Father gave to me safety and protection underneath His wing.
“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
After my dad died, when my son was eight, he became terrified of the dark and afraid to sleep by himself. To help him find peace before he fell asleep each night, my mom made him a picture with this verse and the three that come after it. She told him that no matter how afraid he was, God had given him this gift of protection and had him under His wing so that nothing could harm him.
A few weeks after she gave him this, he got to see the concept in person as we traveled to visit family who lived on a farm. On a visit to the chicken coop to gather eggs, we saw a mother hen with her chicks tucked up under her wings being sheltered from us or any other evil that might befall them. AJ said, “Mom it’s like my verse.” and I had to admit that it was a better example of God’s protection than any I could have given him. And, it’s a great illustration for us as well. Just think. When we are afraid, God just scoops us under the wings of his protection and gives us His shield.
The gift of God’s protection is one we sometimes take for granted. We try to explain away the narrow escapes from evil, the almost accidents, the wrong decision we almost made but didn’t. We sometimes don’t take the time to praise God for our ability to overcome. In Psalm 91:5 -7 the Psalmist says it this way,
“You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.A thousand may fall at your side,ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.”
With this gift of protection how can we be afraid to do anything that God asks us to do. How can we be afraid of being the child of God he wants us to be. These verses don’t promise us that there will never be trials or trouble, but they do promise us that we always have the gift of God’s protection with us.
Wow! That’s a gift worth celebrating on this Christmas Eve and every day throughout the year. With this promise from Psalm and Paul’s promise from I Corinthians 10:13 where he tells us “No temptationhas overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
God’s gift this Christmas. Protection, refuge and faithfulness. May we carry these gifts into the new year and claim them and their promise to make 2013 a new beginning.