UNDER HIS WINGS
Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.
Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.
Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.
Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.
Based upon a passage of Scripture found in Psalm 91, “Under His wings” was written by William Cushing with the music composed by the famous Ira Sankey. Mr. Cushing was a pastor for about 20 years. He lost his voice and his wife within a short amount of time, and was forced to leave the pastorate. He prayed that God would give him something to do in ministry to get him out of the despair he was feeling. He began to write hymns, and eventually authored over 300 of them including this great song.
I think Psalm 91 could have been a personal testimony for Mr. Cushing during those times of despair. Here’s an excerpt from Psalm 91:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
I really like the imagery of the Lord bringing us under His wings. When we need refuge, where do we go? Under His wings. When we need protection from the roaming lion, where do we go? Under His wings. When we are afraid and fearful of the unknown, where do we go? The Bible tells us – Under His wings.
Couple of comments on the lyrics:
* “though the night deepens and tempest are wild” – Have you ever noticed that the worst storms seem to be at night? It is one thing to endure a storm that you can see the impact of. But those storms that come in the middle of the night where there is complete darkness, are really bad. Your mind sometimes tends to assume the worst. You hear the wind howl, and the trees creak, and the lighting and thunder crash. But the author reminds us that it is in those times that we can still trust Him. Why? (He answers that question too). Because He has redeemed us and we are His children.
* “when earth has no balm for my healing” – Have you ever been in a place where the medicine you were taking had no impact on your pain? I get the sense that the author was in that kind of place when he wrote these lyrics. A place where there was no balm. There was no relief for the pain. But he reminds himself that there is a place of rest and comfort to be found. Not found in earthly pain relievers. But found “under the wings” of Jesus. Found in the “Haven of Rest.” Found in the only One that can provide true peace and quietness for the soul.
In Matthew 23:37, Jesus is speaking and says the following “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the 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, and you were not willing.” You can sense Jesus’ broken heart as He prepares for His upcoming crucifixion, death, and burial. He is speaking to the chosen people of God desiring that they and their children seek the Father, but their hearts were unwilling.
I wonder today though. Is Jesus speaking those words to us? Is He desiring to gather us under His wings, but we are too busy or unwilling to seek His shelter?
So let me ask you today, where are you? Are you battling the tempests and the storms on your own? Are you fighting off the enemy under your own strength? Or are you taking shelter under His wings today? I encourage you today to say of the Lord “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in Him will I trust” and then focus on the promises found in Psalm 91. He shall deliver you. He shall cover you. His truth shall be your shield. You will not be afraid. You will be protected – “Under His Wings.”