How often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you were not willing! (GWN) Luke 13:34b
The story has been told of a believer, Frederick Nolan, who was fleeing from his enemies during a time of persecution in North Africa. Pursued by them over hill and valley with no place to hide, he fell exhausted into a wayside cave, expecting his enemies to find him soon.
Awaiting his death, he saw a spider weaving a web. Within minutes, the little bug had woven a beautiful web across the mouth of the cave. The pursuers arrived and wondered if Nolan was hiding there, but on seeing the unbroken and unmangled piece of art, thought it impossible for him to have entered the cave without dismantling the web. And so they went on. Having escaped, Nolan burst out and exclaimed:
“Where God is, a spider’s web is like a wall,
Where God is not, a wall is like a spider’s web.”
What this text reminds us is that Jesus Christ has shown himself more than willing, to receive and entertain poor souls that come to him, and put themselves under his protection. “How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings, with such care and tenderness!” The reason we sinners are not protected and under the wings provided for by the Lord Jesus is summarized in one word, unwillingness. We reject that care, instead often relying on our own strength. We have a desire to do things our own way and only come running to God when all else fails. That left the blood Israel faced on their own heads and on ours as well. You see in Jesus’ lament for Israel a deep sense of remorse over the choices mankind makes. Oh, how I wished you had taken a different path, made different choices, trusted in the One who cares so deeply for you. Jesus cares so deeply for you he gave his life to save you from your sins.
As we face the tough choices and times in our lives, God guides us, encourages us to trust in him. He points us back to the power of the Cross “It is my desire to gather you, to protect you from the trials of life, and through the blood of Christ gives you eternal life.” So often in the midst of life’s toughest moments we feel alone, isolated, wondering where is God in all this. The second half of that verse of Scripture points us to the reason for our feelings of abandonment, “but you were not willing!” God stands ready to encourage, ready to protect. Are you listening, are you seeking, are you willing? Maybe we are not trusting that the spider web is God’s wall and seeing only the spider web.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father gives us hearts ready and willing to receive that word of encouragement and the protection offered by you. In Jesus name. Amen.