He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep. Isaiah 40:11
I love this image Isaiah give us. Of course the mother sheep would be concerned that a human is carrying off her lamb. Jesus gently leads her as well. She gets to walk along side and be guided as well.
Do you feel like a mother sheep?
Whether your child is 3 or 30, he or she is not always going to be in your sight or under your control. The shepherds of this world can scoop your kids up and carry them off. Meanwhile all you can do is watch, and bleat for them to come back.
What shepherds are out there? Any influence that will get them to perk up their ears and follow. The trends that the media shoves on them as norms, the TV commercials and the talk around the chalkboard (or in the restrooms) can all shepherd your child away. Once they grow and have more independence, the social winds of change tickle their ears. Many shepherds call for them to follow. It could be in the form of a gang, or a boyfriend or girlfriend that lures them down a wrong path. It may be an ideology or another religion, even the religion of secular “me-ism”.
It may be a chemical shepherd- cigarettes, drugs, caffeine boosted energy drinks, or inhalants. It may be a thirst for power at whatever costs where the end results will justify the means of getting there. Maybe it is the computer chats or gaming that steals their lives away hour by hour and gives them false identity in their fantasy avatar. It can even be an unusual love for their own bodies to where all they think about is the size of their waists. They spend untold hours each day in gyms, or on jogging lanes and down all sorts of weird shakes and vitamin concoctions all in the effort to combat the natural aging process. Sure healthiness is a goal, but many millennium kids today have turned that into a hedonistic obsession.
But, Jesus is the true shepherd. Your kids are safe in His hands. He will carry them through any storm in their lives and shelter them. His Spirit will guide and correct their path. And He will gently give you peace the more you stroll alongside and trust Him. Who knows, He may even scoop you up and carry you, Mom, as well. He has very big arms.
“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. ..“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:1-3,11
Just as Mary could sit back and smile as the shepherds knelt before her sleeping babe in the manager, you can rest assured that Jesus, now as the Shepherd, will carry you and your family through this life. Teach your children to listen for His voice. It is a voice they will not forget, even though, like the rest of us, from time to time they may ignore it. Keep praying for that voice to tickle their soul’s ears and drown out the luring muses of the world.
For over 15 years I prayed for my grown son to again respond to Christ’s voice. He now has returned to the fold and is one of the flock. Actually he always was, he’d just followed another shepherd for a while. The whole time I was on my knees all those years, the Shepherd comforted this mother sheep whispering into my heart, “I see him, and I am calling to him. I won’t stop. He will hear me. In the meantime, you stay close.”
I let Jesus continue to lead me. Sure enough, my son found me and Him again, both waiting with arms opened in love.