On Eagles Wings

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord
Who abide in His shadow for life
Say to the Lord, “My refuge
My rock, in whom I trust!

This beautiful song based on Psalm 91 was written over 40 years ago by Fr. Michael Joncas. It’s sung in Catholic churches and across the Protestant denominations. It’s used in funerals and was quoted by President Joe Biden in his presidential acceptance speech…

Its been recorded by many – including Joncas himself, Michael Crawford and here by Ellen (from The Petersons) and her husband Michael.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you
And famine will bring you no fear
Under His wings, your refuge
His faithfulness, your shield

Through contrasting images we see a powerful, loving God. He’s a rock who is strong, unchanging, and dependable; He is the gentle, faithful mother hen who knows, and cares for his children; He is the shelter who protects this people from danger and takes away their fear.

You need not fear the terror of the night
Nor the arrow that flies by day
Though thousands fall about you
Near you it shall not come

In the chorus are three particularly precious pictures:

  • Eagles wings – problems weigh us down and seem insurmountable; on our God’s eagles wings we can soar above them.
  • Early morning sunshine – sometimes we mess up need badly and need a clean fresh start; our God brings new fresh light in the breath of dawn.
  • The palm of His hand – we need the security of one who holds us and holds on to us; our God is big, strong and caring enough to hold us in the palm of his hand.

And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand

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