How Animals Teach Us About God

Hen With Brood Under Her Wings Luke 13:34

Job 12:7 “Ask the animals and they will teach you.”

Robert and I were taught about God through an animal during our latest travel adventure. We were fortunate to visit the island of Kauai in Hawaii.

It was as beautiful as I imagined. The ocean is stunning with ribbons of color – greens, blues, and turquoise.

But what I hadn’t imagined were roosters and hens running around everywhere!

I learned that prior to 300 A.D., the islands were so remote that no large animals lived there. In fact, almost every plant came from somewhere else. It is believed that the hens and roosters came over with the Polynesians. They also have no natural predators. That’s why there are so many. (I don’t wish to paint a picture that the island is overrun with them.) But you do see them everywhere.

There were about six that inhabited the resort where we stayed. They are also territorial, so the resort was theirs. Smart birds, no?

The hens had little baby chicks that followed them everywhere. Adorable is an understatement.

We have another couple that we travel with. Sitting down to dinner on the restaurant patio, one mother hen came over to our table with her six chicks. You’re not supposed to feed them, because, like any wild animal, they can become dependent.

The night began to cool down. She sat down and spread out her large brown and gold wings. All six chicks trotted over to her and nestled underneath her wings. When they had all gathered, she folded her wings around them to shelter them. You’d never know she had six chicks under her!… even with a few heads that popped out from time to time.

As little kids, if you stared at someone long enough, they would say, hey, take a picture! It lasts longer! I did take a picture because I wanted to share it with you as opposed to leaving it to your imagination.

Now, I’m a city girl. I had never seen anything like that before. My mind immediately thought of Luke 13:34. Jesus said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often I have desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you are not willing!”

There wasn’t an unwilling chick in this bunch!

Her presence will always remain in my mind and heart. It reinforced for me that God is not the strict Father, god of thou shalt not’s. God’s love is like that of a mother hen sheltering us under her wings.

These other Bible passages came to mind, too:

Psalm 91:4 says, “He shall cover them with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust.”

Psalm 17:8, “Hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”

Psalm 63:7, “In the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.”

I love the references of nature in the Bible because it brings the Bible to life. Animals are beautiful teachers. If you own a dog, you know about unconditional love. Dogs, especially, are great teachers.

When you are facing difficulties, sorrow, and are in need of comfort, think of God as this mother hen beckoning you to gather under the shelter of his wings. I know I will.

Do you have an animal teacher that you’d like to share? Please do so in the comment section below.

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