written in July 2004 by Hubby

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”  Matthew 23:37

Last month a family of Canadian geese made their home in the farm where I work.  There was a father, a mother, and three chicks.  They spent several weeks grazing the tender grass, resting under the shade of the trees, and drinking from the pond.  One time they started nibbling on my corn, but I scolded them and they never did it again.

Whenever I was around, one of the parents was always steadily watching me, while the other parent and the chicks were eating.  The father and mother would take turns watching me.  They were also watching out for other geese that tried to settle in their territory and a stray cat that wandered around the property.  If any potential danger got too close to the chicks, the parents would start hissing.  They would even chase an enemy.  Yes, I have been pursued by geese.  Not these particular geese, but at a different time.

The chicks never hissed at any danger or strayed away from the protection of their parents.  They were content to enjoy the pleasant environment on the farm and to be led away from dangerous situations.  They had no cares, except to be close to their father and mother.

Jesus desires that same attitude from his people.  He wants us to trusts in him only.  But humans are stubborn when it comes to following God.  The Jews in Biblical times were guilty of killing God’s messengers.  Christians today are disobeying God’s Word, effectively saying, “I don’t love you, God.”

God loves you; he longs to draw you under his protection as a hen draws her chicks underneath her wings.  But he will not force you to come under his care.  He will allow a stubborn heart to wander off in sin.  It pains his heart to do that, though.  That is why Jesus, in his passionate lament of love for his people in Jerusalem, cries out twice for that city.

Will you draw near to God today, under the shadow of his wings?  He loves you so much that he stretches out his arms for you on the cross, and his arms are still stretched out, inviting you to come to him.  Obey God today.

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