Mother's Day 2012: Do Not Weary

I remember the first time I read this verse:

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

I had tears in my eyes; it really spoke to my heart. Here are a few more versions:

He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. Isaiah 40:11 NLT

Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. Isaiah 40:11 NASB

I'd like to share some lovely commentary on these verses:

The love with which He tends this flock is shown, by way of example, in His conduct towards the טלאים ( equals טליים from טלי equals טלה), the young lambs that have not long been born, and the עלות, those giving suck, lactantes (Vulg. fetae), not those that are sucking, sugentes (from עוּל med. Vav, to nourish). Such as cannot keep pace with the flock he takes in his arms, and carries in the bosom of his dress; and the mothers he does not overdrive, but ינהל (see at Psalm 23:2), lets them go gently alone, because they require care (Genesis 33:13). From Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Shall gently lead those that are with young "The nursing ewes shall he gently lead" - A beautiful image, expressing, with the utmost propriety as well as elegance, the tender attention of the shepherd to his flock. That the greatest care in driving the cattle in regard to the dams and their young was necessary, appears clearly from Jacob's apology to his brother Esau, Genesis 33:13 : "The flocks and the herds giving suck to their young are with me; and if they should be overdriven, all the flock will die." Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

He shall gather the lambs with his arm - This is a most beautiful expression, denoting the care of God the Saviour for the feeblest and weakest of his people, and for the young and feeble in years and piety. A similar thing is often done by a shepherd. The tender lamb, unable to keep up with the flock, becomes weary and exhausted; and the shepherd naturally takes it in his arms and carries it. Barnes' Notes on the Bible

*This verse, then, is not just for mothers, but for anyone who is tired, run-down, worn-out, haggard, exhausted, weary...if you feel you are falling behind at the back of the flock, the Good Shepherd sees you and longs to take you in his arms. But he is a gentle shepherd and will not force the issue, you must be willing.

Motherhood is hard. There is so much to do even in the most basic form; keeping them fed, clothed, sheltered and educated so that they can grow and hopefully become decent human beings who contribute (positively) to society. But, of course, there's more to it than that. Good mothers know how important it is that their kids know they are loved and valued so we spend time with them. We want them to develop their talents and friendships so we put time and money into extra-curricular activities. We talk with them, play with them, read to them, take them places, buy them things, throw them parties. We invest in our children. As for Christian mothers, we are called even one step more; to "train up a child in the way he should go" spiritually. This is a tall order. No wonder moms so often feel overwhelmed!

Add in to the equation TV shows and movies where every line is scripted and all problems are solved within half an hour, blogs and websites (I'm thinking Pinterest) where women can put fragments of themselves - always the best fragments - on display, and now not only do many moms feel overwhelmed, they feel guilty, too!

If you are feeling overwhelmed and guilty, if you are feeling like you are lagging at the back of the pack, can I just encourage you to give it up to Jesus and let the Good Shepherd carry you? Let him just hold you in his arms for a while. And when he sets you down, follow him. Only him. Not books, or tv shows, or blogs, or your mom, or the moms in your neighborhood. Just him.

The Bible tells us:

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Submit yourself and your children to him. Ask him for his wisdom daily (or hourly...or minutely, if needed) and he will give it to you! He will show you what needs to be done and when. He will show you what to say and what not to say. He'll show you what's important...and what maybe is not so important.

He sees you.
He understands you.
And if you let him...
...He will willingly carry you.
He will gently lead you.
He will fully instruct you.

So then,

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9


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