Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your life? Do you ever feel like you’re under a pile and there is no way to dig out? Most of us feel that way at one point or another.

I’ve noticed that my own negative thoughts and expectations can add another layer of weight when things aren’t going well. I burden my already heavy heart with should’s and self-judgments. It makes for a wicked brew of emotions and circumstances.

This is easier to do when we are sick or when life throws a curveball or something unexpected at us. We lose our bearings and grasp for a lifeline.

If you find yourself in that situation  today (or any day), let me offer you an image. I don’t want to preach about this or give easy advice about  how to make your situation better. I simply want to offer an invitation to soak in the reality of being surrounded-- of finding refuge.

Some time back, we were visiting the Dominican Republic. Alan was leading a retreat for leaders and I had the pleasure of going with him. When he sent us out for some Unhurried Time with God, I carried my camera to see if I could capture some beauty.

We were meeting at a home in the mountains and there were quite a few hens running around in the yard. I followed one mama who had recently hatched a few chicks. I snapped many shots, but the photo I share here is my favorite.

Take a moment to take in the image. What do you notice about the chick in orientation to the mother?

I have brought this image to mind several times over the years. It has helped me with a sense of being surrounded by God. God is my refuge. My prayer is that this image resonates with you as well.

When life feels overwhelming or just a little difficult, let yourself be that little chick, nestling into the safe, enfolding wings of a loving parent.

Even right now, linger with the image for a few moments. Gaze at the little chick. Let yourself enjoy a sense of being enfolded and protected.

Here are some scripture passages that may help you enter in:

  • Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you…(Psalm 63:7-8a)
  • Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 17:8)
  • How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 36:7)
  • Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.
 I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. (Psalm 57:1)