Read: Psalm 18
“O 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, but you were not willing.” – Matthew 23:37 NIV
I glanced beneath the checkout stand, lightly tapping the canning jar with my finger.
Inside, an unusually large, visibly pregnant, female spider glared out at me. She had been delivered to us several days earlier by a customer who was, it seemed, terrified that he was going to die simply because he’d managed to trap her in the aforementioned jar. I’m not quite sure why he bothered to catch her if he was so certain he would die from doing it, but he did and once we’d told him that he wasn’t likely to drop dead from touching her through the glass jar, he didn’t want her back.
It wasn’t really a good idea setting her loose again since she would promptly be squished by someone else who lived in equal fear of all members of the recluse family. So we kept her in a jar and watched as she built herself a little nest. Eventually, being satisfied that her home was perfectly ready, she wove herself a little yellow basket and laid her eggs inside.
As the weeks wore on, I watched with fascination at the way she leapt atop her little egg sack each time someone tapped the jar. This behavior continued even when it became obvious that she was growing hungry and that nothing was very likely to come out of the eggs inside the little hammock. I confess to being rather disappointed the morning when I came in to find her lying dead, just beside her nest.
Scripture describes Christ’s love for His people as being like that of a mother hen. Though a hen is good deal different from a spider (it has more feathers for a start), most mothers in most species have similar protective instincts. They watch over their young with care and willingly sacrifice themselves if doing so will result in the well-being of their offspring.
What a marvelous thought that the God who created the Universe loves enough to do the same!
Challenge: Take a moment to make a list of all the dangers, obstacles, and trials you currently face. Then, one at a time, give each of them over to God. Let Him be your shield.