Yesterday we walked to the store. It’s really close and it was a beautiful day. We didn’t actually need anything there, but we needed to leave our house and since our car is in the shop, we set out on foot. We bought a random snack of chocolate milk and almonds, not very exciting but something. As I approached the U Scan and fumbled around for my keys, so that I could scan my store card, it occurred to me that I did not have them. In fact, I could not recall closing or locking the door when we left. As far as I knew, there was an open invitation to the neighborhood to come on over. Good thing we live in a basement apartment with an entrance around the back of the house because I can confirm that when we returned the door was WIDE OPEN. But seriously, what a reflection of my week. Hopefully I’m not the only one who is grateful that my head is attached to my body. Call it “mommy brain” if you want, but thank God that even when we do things all wrong and mix up the details, He is watching out for us.
In the Bible there are numerous references to God being our shepherd, the one who cares for us and leads us with gentleness and care. Psalm 23, probably one of the most often quoted, even begins with, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” What is it about God as shepherd? Why are we so drawn to this imagery? For me it’s comforting to know that as I fumble around and fail miserably while attempting to multi-task, God is leading. He is guiding, caring, protecting, providing and loving me through it all. As a mom, this is even more of a relief as I do much shepherding to my little herd of three.
A year or two ago, I came across a familiar shepherding passage but something new jumped off the page. Check this out:
“He tends his flock like a shepherd, he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11.
Um, did you see the part in bold? Those that have young, as in US!! God himself knows that as we parent and strive to guide, care, love, protect and provide for our children that we are in need of a shepherd more than ever. So much so that he makes special mention of it. And, on top of it all, he leads us with gentleness. On the days where nothing in your life feels gentle as you parent a sassy three year old, tantrum prone toddler or teenager with attitude remember that God himself is leading you. He is faithful and he is gentle. I don’t know about you, but that is what I need to hear. Be encouraged friends.