“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7
So many words leapt off the pages of my bible into my heart when I read the verse of the week for the Proverbs 31 OBS, A Confident Heart, by Renee Swope. Priceless. Unfailing. Love. Refuge. Shadow. Wings. I picture an ever loving Father God wrapping me up in His arms as I curl in the fetal position trying to evade the storms of life that surround me. I imagine being safe amid the turbulence of life’s trials and tribulations. I longed to dive into this verse and truly digest it and make the meaning come alive and give me #AConfidentHeart.
I began to search for deeper meaning and words to meditate over…
PRICELESS: ‘yaqar’: valuable, excellent, abundant, prized, weighty, influential, precious, costly, highly valued, rare, splendid, glorious, desirable, to be relished…CANNOT BE PURCHASED.
UNFAILING LOVE: ‘checed’: steadfast, goodness, lovingkindness, faithfulness, mercy, gracious, loyal, un-moveable, fixed, unmerited.
REFUGE: ‘chacah’: to seek refuge, flee for protection, to put trust in, confide in, hope in, dwelling place, high tower, safe place, place of healing and renewal, stronghold.
SHADOW: ‘tsel’: protection, indispensable, unfailing, uninterrupted, defense from attack, hurt, or exploitation, armor, shield.
WINGS: ‘kanaph’: extremity, edge, border, corner, strength.
God offers all who trust in Him, and put their faith in Him, an amazing GIFT. It is a gift because it cannot be purchased, how can it be when it is impossible to put a price on it! His love is above all else, no gem or pearl can measure up to the value and worth of His unconditional love. Renee points out that: “God put a longing for unfailing love in our hearts because He knew it would lead us back to Him.” (ACH, p55). He created us (Psalm 139:13), and in doing so, put in us a desire for love that cannot disappoint and can only be found in Him. Because I have put my trust in the Lord, I have received His unfailing love. Renee also highlights that; of the 32 times that unfailing love is mentioned in Scripture, it is only ever attributed to God. Only God has the ability to love us unconditionally. The Scripture I always turn to for an illustration of what this love looks like is 1 Corinthians 13. I wish I could love like this, but it is not possible because I am a sinner and every day I fail in at least one area. I get irritable, or I remember when I was let down, or I get impatient to have my own way…the list goes on. No matter what I do though, God still loves me perfectly and keeps no record of my wrongdoings.
Instead of living in the shadow of our doubt, God wants me, us, to live in the shadow of His protective wings. Many commentaries on this verse describe the wings as being the wings of the cherubim, above the mercy seat. We are under the protection and shelter of God’s mercy. We may fail and not measure up to the self-set and society-set standards of life, but God’s grace and mercy covers ALL things.
He provides for us a place of refuge, a place where we can flee from all the troubles around us; a place where we can be safe and find healing and restoration. One thing that stood out to me while looking at the word ‘refuge’ is that it is a verb; it’s an action. We have to actively seek this refuge. Sometimes in the midst of things, we get so caught up in our doubts and circumstances that we forget to look up. We fail to turn to the light, away from the shadows of our doubt, and call out to the Lord, whose name is a strong tower for us to run into and be safe (Prov. 18:10, ESV).
When I was looking at this verse, the image of Jesus and his disciples on the boat in Luke 8:22-25 came to mind. When the storm arose, the disciples feared the worst; however, Jesus lay sleeping. He woke and calmed the storm with His voice, and then questioned the faith of His disciples. How often do I react to situations in my life and automatically fear the worst? How often do I let the shadows of doubt in my abilities, my worth, and lack of faith and hope prevent me from just calling out to the Lord and running under His wings?
I am so thankful that I can shelter under the protection of the Lord’s outstretched wings while He calms the storms of life that encompass me. His mercy protects me daily and I can trust in His plans for my future, plans that will not harm me, but give me hope (Jer. 29:11). That hope will not disappoint, because, by His Spirit, He has poured out this unfailing, priceless love into my heart (Rom. 5:5).
“He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His
wings. His faithful promises are your armor
and protection.” Psalm 91:4, NLT