Any time I am reading the Bible and discover metaphors comparing God or Jesus to a shepherd, my ears perk up. So last week was no different as I was reading Isaiah 40 for Ladies’ Bible Study Fellowship. This chapter is a huge encouragement for the children of Israel, as they have been living in sin once again, and Isaiah is instructed to deliver a great message of hope to them. The passage is a familiar one, but verses 10 & 11 arrested me as I read:
Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong [hand], and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him.He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young. (emphasis mine)
What? How could I have missed this before?
Picture a very weary mother at the end of her day. The busyness of caring for six children, even with much help, through meeting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs; the time and energy allotted to teaching piano lessons for several hours in a day; housekeeping; grocery shopping; the to-do list that never gets done… the awesome husband who takes a back seat.
Then think of that same mother being “with young.” In other words, pregnant. Far enough along in the journey of bearing a precious little one that it is obviously visible.
And through the reading of the Word, all of the sudden, that tired mother is rejuvenated. The Word is made personal as the Holy Spirit whispers to her heart:
Yep, that’s you! That’s you God is talking to right there. Not only is He going to come with a strong hand, supporting you through every step of your day… not only is He going to make sure you are protected and fed; but He is going to care for you, His little lamb, just like a shepherd. The kind of shepherd who never gives up on even one stubborn lamb who has a hard time staying on track. And He cares so much that He uniquely mentions those mamas with the pregnant bellies and those mamas nursing little babies, because He knows what a responsibility that is. He understands the extra load of carrying a sweet baby in the womb and the lost nights of sleep when caring for a newborn. And He promises to lead you gently through every step.
Most of you reading this probably aren’t with child right now. But you have another “extra” load. Some other circumstance or burden that just weighs on your body, heart or mind. This little blog post is just a note of encouragement that HE will gently lead you. Remember to rely on Him; Isaiah 40 was my reminder last week.
Coming from a prego Mom with a Heart for God.