Psalm 91:4~He will cover you with His pinions (that means feathers), and under His wings you may seek refuge. He is a shield and bulwark (that means defense or protection).
The image in this scripture has always been comforting and meaningful to me - a beautiful picture of the loving protection of God over His children.
But i've never seen the natural example of it until lately.
For the first time, i have gotten to see, up close, the relationship between a hen and her chicks.
A couple of times i have been counting chicks to make sure everyone was accounted for, and i would come up short. Frantically, i would be searching around for the lost chicks, when suddenly, out of nowhere, they would appear unharmed. Finally, i figured out what was happening.
The chicks were taking refuge under their mother's wings. When i say "under her wings," i don't mean that the chick was sitting on the ground, and the hen was sheltering the chick. I mean that the chicks were hidden way up in the crooks of the hen's body - under her wings - in such a way that she was carrying them. They were completely hidden in between her feathers, almost part of her body.
What a beautiful picture of how God hides us under HIS wings.
Sometimes, the hens cover the chicks with their bodies while the chicks stand on the ground beneath them.
Sometimes, the chicks explore near the hens, but they are still protected. Should anything come near the chicks - or the chicks' food - or any area that seems to be the general vicinity of the chicks, the mother hen rises up, flaps her wings, and pecks into submission any interloper. She is their shield and protection.
And sometimes, they take refuge under her wings in a way that they are so close to her, that you can't find them. You can only see the hen.
Painfully, i have seen where the mother hens' protections did fail, and the chicks were put in danger.
Then i am comforted again - that i am covered by the Father's wings. The infallible, loving - not just instinctual - protections of my Father God guard me. And i can take refuge under HIS wings, where i am invisible to any enemy. Only my Father can be seen, and He will protect me while He teaches me and loves me, and i grow into what He has made me to be.