I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:7–8
Needles, milk, mushrooms, elevators, births, bees, and bees in blenders—these are just a fraction of the many phobias attributed to Mr. Adrian Monk, detective and title character of the TV show Monk. But when he and longtime rival Harold Krenshaw find themselves locked in a car trunk, Monk has a breakthrough that allows him to cross off at least one fear from his list—claustrophobia.
It’s while Monk and Harold are both panicking that the epiphany comes, abruptly interrupting Monk’s angst. “I think we’ve been looking at this the wrong way,” he tells Harold. “This trunk, these walls . . . they’re not closing in on us . . . they’re protecting us, really. They’re keeping the bad stuff out . . . germs, and snakes, and harmonicas.” Eyes widening, Harold sees what he means and whispers in wonder, “This trunk is our friend.”
In Psalm 63, it’s almost as if David has a similar epiphany. Despite being in a “dry and parched land,” when David remembers God’s power, glory, and love (vv. 1–3), it’s as if the desert transforms into a place of God’s care and protection. Like a baby bird hiding in the shelter of a mother’s wings, David finds that when he clings to God, even in that barren place, he can feast “as with the richest of foods” (v. 5), finding nourishment and strength in a love that “is better than life” (v. 3).
When have you experienced God’s care for you while you were in a difficult place? In what current struggles might you learn to “sing in the shadow of [God’s] wings”?
Loving Creator, Sustainer, and Nourisher, thank You for the miraculous way Your love seeps into my heart in even the most difficult places, transforming them into the shelter of Your wings.
Readers of the book of Psalms will notice that the majority of the psalms (more than one hundred) include headers or superscriptions. While these aren’t part of the psalm itself, the information provided can often enhance one’s understanding of the psalm’s content. The header of Psalm 63 is a good example: “A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.” David, the Israelite king, is believed to be the author. The setting was when he was in the wilderness (v. 1) and a king (v. 11). Most likely, the occasion is when David fled to the wilderness from his rebellious son Absalom (2 Samuel 15:1–19:15). Though in the midst of an unimaginable situation, David expressed hope in God’s protection: “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:7–8).