06 Sep He Gently Leads Those That Have Young
The cool morning air filled my lungs as I breathed deeply in and out, jogging on the mountain. My eyes latched onto deer after deer which made their way across the lovely green landscape.
I watched as the fawns followed their mothers and studied them to see if they would run when I came by. I noticed that if the moms stayed put, grazing on grass, the fawns did, too. If the moms started and ran away, so did the fawns.
They were looking to their mothers to know what was worth fearing. They weren’t sure themselves, but they trusted that mom would know best.
I kept jogging, thinking about my own children. About the day my third daughter walked into the street just before a car came down the road. And how I saw her, ran forward, and grabbed her out as the car came to a stop as well. She saw my fear for her safety. She heard my admonitions to never go in the road again. She saw the car, stalling in the road in front of her and now she understood the risk. She has not run out in the road again.
Our children look to us as their compass point to know what’s ok and what’s not: “Is this person safe?” “Is this place ok for me to play?” “Is this dog friendly?” “Can I jump off this rock?“
Our “yes,” “no,” or sometimes just the look on our faces lets them know our thoughts on a matter. I know I’ve said the following to my kids many times as we have gone on walks together: “Look at the dog, honey. Is he wagging his tail and happy or does he look angry? Do you think he wants to be pet?“….”O.k. let’s ask his owner if it’s a good idea to pet him.“
A Mother’s Shepherd
Our little ones follow us everywhere, trusting us implicitly. We recognize the responsibility we have to instruct them in the way they should go. And yet, we are only flawed human beings with imperfections and anxieties of our own: We need a Shepherd ourselves.
I love Isaiah 40:11 which speaks of our Lord’s great care for mothers and their children: “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.”
Our Shepherd provides for our needs, protects us from harm, and always keeps a close watch over us. He gives us rest and leads us in the way we should go (Psalm 23). As our children watch us follow Christ and place our confidence in His care, they too can learn to walk carefree in the care of God.
This does not mean that we will never fear or worry, but it means that when we do, we (and our kids) can press in closely to our Good Shepherd and trust in His wisdom and love.
It is my prayer that when my kids look to me for direction, provision, or care – they will see that I am looking to another myself, asking Christ to meet my own needs so that I can properly guide and care for them.
I pray that they would see that their Mom is not invincible but needs (just like them!) to receive rest, guidance, love, and care as well. And I pray that they would come to drink from the same spiritual fountain I have found never runs dry.
Are you feeling anxious, worn down or “running on empty” today, dear mother? There is a Shepherd that will gently care for you and lead you (and your kids!) to the peace that is found in His presence. Draw near to Him today – cry out for His strength and mercy to sustain you! And don’t be surprised if you see your little ones follow your lead.