I love the 91st Psalm.
I have it memorized and recite it quite often during the course of a day.
It is the first words out of my mouth immediately after opening my eyes each morning.
My son and I use it to speak life into him before he heads out to encounter his day.
I declare it when I am feeling anxious, and even when I have an overwhelming sense of God’s peace around me.
The words of the entire Psalm paint the perfect picture of the protection God affords all of His children; however, my favorite part is verse 4:
“He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.”
I love the image of God as a protective mother bird ready to tuck her offspring under a warm and protective wing. I believe God purposely portrays His character to us in ways that we can relate to and physically see within His creation.
I have taken the image of God as that mother bird to heart. Now each time I see a bird feather on the ground, my soul smiles and my heart warms as I am reminded of His protection.
It often seems like feathers appear in my path just at the very moment I need them the most. They are gentle reminders that I am never out of the sight of God. They give me a sense of the supernatural protection that follows me as I press into Him.
This idea really hit home when I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at the Texas coast.
Having the chance to enjoy an extended time of rest and prayer was a true blessing because I sense I am in a time of wilderness in my spiritual walk. It is a time when I feel God molding and purifying me in preparation for what I am to do next.
During this time, I spent many hours walking along a beautiful beach serenaded by the sound of restless waves and embraced by a warm southern breeze.
During my beach walks I pondered, thought and prayed. I also spent the time alternating between asking questions of God and grumbling about the lack of His timely answers. However, I have come to understand that God really does knows best, so if He thinks I am not ready for full revelation concerning my future then I am okay with that.
However, early in my wilderness journey when I was yet to embrace that truth, I often felt my impatience begin turning into discouragement. During those times, I would ask God for His miraculous encouragement.
Encouragement that I knew could only be from Him.
Encouragement that would grant me the sense of His presence in the process as well as confirmation I was still on the appointed course.
Ask and you shall receive!
In the midst of my wilderness I have found miraculous encouragement almost as abundant as the daily manna provided to the Israelites!
The lesson here is God will give His answers in His timing (not ours!), but He always provides timely miraculous encouragement if we position ourselves to see, hear or feel it!
It was during one of my beach walks that God showered me with miraculous encouragement as only He could.
Obviously on the beach there are various species of birds. Part of the delight of a beach walk is watching God’s flying creations interact with the rest of His beach kingdom in amazing and amusing ways.
Now because wherever birds are, feathers follow – I always saw some feathers along my path.
One particular evening as I set out toward the beach for my walk, I was not in the mood for asking or pondering or reflecting. I just wanted to walk and…well…just be encouraged.
The days preceding had left me feeling like I was struck and maybe even a bit uninspired in my progress. I needed to feel I was on pace and on course before I could think about the next steps ahead.
As I reached the water’s edge and set out on my course parallel to the ocean, I knew God understood my heart because I was amazed at what I saw before me.
Not just the usual few scattered here and there. Feathers were everywhere!
Small ones and large ones.
Dry fresh feathers and feathers that were wet from the surf.
Feathers from all types of birds.
Feathers were laid out, gracing my path as far as I could see. It was funny and amazing and something only God could have pulled off!
It was as if He whispered into the heart of every winged creature in the area and invited them into a moment of miraculous encouragement for one of His beloved daughters.
The birds, I believe, in gratitude for the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:26 were happy to help!
I laughed and danced a bit delighting in the warm, feathery and encouraging embrace from God.
Miraculous encouragement! Seriously…only God!
In the days that followed I never again saw that amount of feathers on the beach.
The feathers were gone, but the memory of the love and care of God that appeared in the form of those simple feathers still remains.
Through this experience, God has transformed my heart into a sweet nest filled with the promises of His tender care and gentle love.
God delights in providing miraculous encouragement to us all.
He understands our discouragement and despair as we walk out our faith.
He knows we grow tired and weary pushing through daily battles.
But God is an ever-present source of protection and provision.
He loves us and delights in encouraging us to stand on His promises and press on in faith.
Open your heart today and allow Him to encourage you in miraculous ways!