You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord
“My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!”
And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand.
The snare of the fowler will never capture you
And famine will bring you no fear
Under His wings your refuge
His faithfulness your shield.
I am sure most of you know this song. It was written in the late 1970’s by Michael Joncas in response to the death of his friend’s mother. It was first sung at her funeral. It is beautifully woven with Bible verses affirming God’s faithfulness, strength, and protection for those who trust in Him. I usually can’t stop the tears when this song is played, and it is now played at most of the Catholic funerals that I have attended. I attended one this week.
It was the funeral of one of my best friend’s grandmother (Momme they called her).
Jen, her husband, and 11-month-old (Parker) flew up from Texas to be there. While attending the wake I unintentionally took on “the biggest responsibility” of loving on Parker while they greeted the people who came to pay respects to the family.
It was getting late for the little guy who was tired, and although this was only the 3rd time I have seen him, he snuggled into my arms, put his thumb in his mouth and hummed himself to sleep as I provided safe arms for him to fall asleep in. Olivia won’t fall asleep in my arms anymore (she is like me, and likes to fall asleep on her own), so I thoroughly enjoyed this.
The next day I was able to watch him again in the “cry room” while the funeral service was going on. Parker was tired again, so I let him snuggle and fall asleep in my arms again. I love holding him, because it is always like God’s faithfulness is wrapped in my arms, and staring into my eyes (when he is awake that is).
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
You see, Parker is adopted. His parents prayed for him for 5 years. Praying and waiting was hard. Yet, they kept the faith in the One who was faithful in bringing this little boy into their family. This child, is their child.
It was a year ago that I got the phone call from Jen. I will remember that phone call for the rest of my life. I was driving home from a doctors appointment with Olivia, and I was crossing Imperial Bridge when the phone rang. She told me that they had been matched with a birth mom. She was about 37 weeks pregnant, so that meant it would only be a short few weeks before my friend would hold the child that God had chosen for her and her husband.
So many prayers would be answered in this child who would be named Parker. His entire story is saturated with details of His faithfulness. Jen shared in her post for me “Waiting Expectantly” that God is using Parker to teach other about His faithfulness, and that day in the “cry room” God did just that for me again.
Although I have prayed for this little boy countless times, and Jen shares his life with me, I had only spent about 3-4 hours total with him in person. Parker didn’t really know me.
He could have feared me, yet he trusted and allowed me to love him by letting him sleep in my arms. He slept so peacefully and trusting as “On Eagles Wings” played, and I let the tears fall. This is how we should be resting under His wings. Trusting, peaceful.
May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
I love this scripture from Ruth. I remember talking about what it looked like to take refuge under the wings of God. We both agreed that it would look like trust. Trust can be hard, and giving into fear can be easy. But when we let go of fear and doubt, our soul can rest. We can have peace knowing, trusting that He is faithful. We can be assured that He will never leave us, His arms are a place of refuge, His faihtfulness is our shield, and wings are our shelter.
Heavenly Father, thank You for being faithful, even in times when our faith is shaken. You are the shelter that we can seek in times of trouble, and a solid rock where we can firmly plant our feet. Thank you that Your word is true, and that we don’t have to fear the path ahead because You are with us. We are thankful that we never have to look far to see your faithfulness. Help us to see how You are faithful everyday, as we rest under the shelter of Your wings. Thank you that You will never leave us, even in the strongest storm, and the darkest night. You are there, and Your arms are safe for us to rest. And as we trust, You provide peace for our wrestless souls. In Jesus name, Amen.