2 Kings 15-16
John 3:1-18

“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

There is no other verse more beautiful to celebrate Mother’s Day than the latter part of Isaiah 40:11: “He gently leads those that have young.” For those who are mothers, may they be encouraged, God is gently leading them through all of motherhood. Yet, this verse is so much more than an encouragement to mothers; it is actually an enormous encouragement to all of us. Are we allowing ourselves to be gently led as a parent? grandparent, teacher, mentor, pastor?

The truth is that, sometimes, we can get so busy that we do not allow ourselves to be gently led anymore. Yet, the marvelous thing about the opening verse of this devotion is that it describes an active Shepherd who tends, gathers, carries and leads through all the generations. Are we allowing ourselves to be gathered into the arms of God? In other words, do we have a personal relationship with Jesus—a personal relationship that is so intimate that we are being carried close to His heart, whereby we hear His heartbeat and His heartbeat becomes our heartbeat as we go through life?

Whether we have an intimate relationship with Jesus or are completely detached from Him, we can find encouragement for today because He cares for the whole flock. In the New Testament, Matthew 23:37 reveals the heart of Christ as He says, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.…” (Matthew 23:37). Are

we allowing Jesus to gather us or are we resisting Him? Some of us have probably witnessed a child refusing to be gathered; they are screaming, punching and kicking out of control as a loving parent tries to gently hold them in their arms.

In one of the most famous psalms, David writes, “The LORD is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3). What we may not know is that it is not easy to make a sheep lie down. Sheep will only lie down when they are free from all fear, free from flies and parasites, and free from hunger. If we have ever seen a restless flock of sheep, it is because the shepherd is failing to provide the green pasture for the sheep to lie down.

God is our Shepherd, and we lack nothing. May we find peace and provision in the care of our Almighty God who holds us close to His heart.

Lord Jesus, You are my Shepherd and I lack nothing. Thank You for gathering me close to Your heart and leading me where I need to go.

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