There are several Canada goose families with baby geese at the pond near our apartment complex. The little goslings are so fluffy and cute; it’s hard not to watch them when I go for a walk or run around the pond. But I’ve learned to avoid eye contact and give the geese a wide berth—otherwise, I risk a protective goose parent suspecting a threat and hissing and chasing me!
The image of a bird protecting her young is one that Scripture uses to describe God’s tender, protective love for His children (Psalm 91:4). In Psalm 61, David seems to be struggling to experience God’s care in this way. He’d experienced God as his “refuge, a strong tower” (v. 3), but now he called desperately “from the ends of the earth,” pleading, “lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (v. 2). He longed to once more “take refuge in the shelter of [God’s] wings” (v. 4).
And in bringing his pain and longing for healing to God, David took comfort in knowing that He’d heard him (v. 5). Because of God’s faithfulness, he knew he would “ever sing in praise of [His] name” (v. 8).
Like the psalmist, when we feel distant from God’s love, we can run back to His arms to be assured that even in our pain, He’s with us, protecting and caring for us as fiercely as a mother bird guards her young.