“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)
As my son and I were leaving his music lesson, he called my attention to a mama duck and her fourteen ducklings. Although tiny and only a day or two old, they closely followed their mama as she led them in and out of the protection of some shrubs near the spot where I had parked the car. Because my mind was on tackling the next thing on my to-do list, I didn’t even notice these precious creatures. How thankful I am that my son wasn’t too preoccupied with his own agenda to see them! Regrettably, I had left home without my camera and had only my cell phone with which to take pictures. Knowing that my phone’s camera wouldn’t do justice to our discovery, we drove home to pick up my digital camera and my daughter, then we returned to the site where we saw the ducks, hoping that they would still be there. It took several minutes of searching for them, but we finally found them on the pond of a nearby retirement center.
As we watched this family of mallards, God impressed upon me some truths which I was able to share with my children. First, just as the mama duck did her brood, he covers us with his feathers and hides us under his wings, sheltering and protecting us from the dangers of living in this world (Psalm 91:4-9). Although we initially only saw one duckling with its mother, there were actually fourteen hiding beneath the wings! Only when she stood could we see them all. God’s wings are large enough to cover all his children!
Secondly, as we draw near to God through prayer and obey his commands to us in the Scriptures, we become more like him. As the mama and daddy ducks communicated with each other and with their ducklings, the babies were swift to obey and follow their mama, trusting that she and daddy knew best and would keep them safe.
Lastly, as we watched them and listened to them communicate with each other, we witnessed an amazing sight. The mama duck waddled to the water, jumped in, and swam across the pond to where the daddy stood, knowing her ducklings would find safety if they chose to follow her. The little ones instinctively obeyed her call, jumping into the water for what may have been their first swim. When they got to the opposite shore, each one struggled to make it up the slippery shoreline and onto dry ground. Not one duckling made it out of the water on the first attempt, but each persevered, with the encouragement of their parents and siblings, until they managed to find safety on the other shore.
The dependence of these ducklings upon their parents to guide and keep them safe so clearly illustrated for me the need we all have for God’s loving guidance and care. My children and I were no real threat, but the little ducklings didn’t know that. They huddled together, encouraged each other, and obeyed the commands of the loving parents whom they trusted to keep them safe. God is no less a loving parent; in fact, he has proven over and over to me that Father truly does know best!