“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 NIV]

Photo by Andrew Berg

Isaiah 40 has to be one of my favourite chapters in the Bible. It is filled with the greatness of God, His incomparable nature, but also His comfort and His gentleness. As a mum with young children ten years ago, this verse in particular really spoke to me.

If you think about a shepherd’s job, which is to move the sheep from one pasture to another so the sheep can feed, on the surface it seems a simple job. Sheep tend to follow one another without much difficulty. But, a shepherd also had to protect them from predators, because sheep have to be one of the most vulnerable animals there are.

But then, when sheep have young, the vulnerability increases tenfold. Ewes with lambs would be constantly stopping to feed them, the lambs travel at a slower rate, and predatory animals would eye them off even more so than the grown sheep, ready to pounce if a little lamb lags behind.

God likens us to sheep — all the way through the Bible. But, I love that in this verse it says He leads gently those who have young. So, for us mums who feel like we’re getting nowhere sometimes — it’s ok — He understands that while we have to nurture our little ones, it takes us longer to travel our own journey, and He’s looking out for both us and our babies.

Don’t you find such comfort in that?

Published in: on 6th August, 2012 at 10:21 am  Comments (2)  
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God Gets Mums

We’ve all heard it — us mums — the complaints, the accusations, the whining. “It’s not fair!” “You never let me do anything!” “I want it now!” It is so frustrating at times. We wonder if our children will ever learn to be grateful and obedient. We wonder how long we have to put up with the disrespect and ignorance of all we do for them.

Did you know that God understands those frustrations? Yes, He does. Because, He has children, too. Children who were probably far worse than yours or mine.

God rescued His children from slavery amidst an amazing show of His power. Plague after plague was visited upon the Egyptians while the Israelites were unaffected. Then, He helped them escape through the dry bed of a sea, with a wall of water to the left and a wall of water to the right. Wow! They had His presence with them wherever they went, in the symbol of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Awesome! He brought them water from a rock. He gave them manna from heaven every day.

And what did they do? They complained. They whined. They wanted to go back to Egypt where life was easier (hello, did they forget the back-breaking labour??). They wanted meat. Something different to eat. “We’re sick of this manna!”

So, what did God say? Did He pat them on the head and say, “Oh, yes my children, I understand. Here’s some meat, you poor little ones.” No! He was frustrated and annoyed, just like we are when our kids whinge.

God said, “Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it.” [Numbers 11;18-20 NIV] (emphasis mine)

I love this! Read it with some emphasis and increasing volume and it sounds just like ourselves when we’re fed up. “Have it your way! But you will suffer the consequences!”

So, all you mums out there. I just wanted to encourage you today, God understands the frustrations of parenting. He’s been there and done that. And He will be the first one to tell you all the frustration is worth it in the end. Press on. Love your kids. They WILL grow up to be wonderful adults. Amen?

Published in: on 15th May, 2012 at 3:23 pm  Comments (6)  
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