January 9, 2015

He gently leads those that have young

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:39 pm by mynewbyline

{This article was originally published in the January 2015 edition of the newsletter for the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group in Dunwoody, Georgia.}

If you’ve been around church for a while, you’ve probably been advised to start your day with Bible study and prayer. I’ve heard it from many churches, from the pulpit to small groups, and the Bible itself cites examples of God’s people seeking Him in the morning. So when you hear something like that repeated, you begin to think you’re doing something wrong if you can’t make it happen. And mothers of young children would have a hard time making that happen.

Several years ago, I was making my way through a book about spending time with the Lord. In the book, the author wrote an entire chapter on the importance of meeting with God first thing in the morning. She used Scripture to support it, and she emphasized that it was crucial to spend time in Bible study and prayer before speaking with anyone. As I sat reading the book, my heart rate climbed up, my face was getting hot, and the book was about to hit the wall. The author – a well-known Christian writer – was insistent, and left no room for exceptions. The author is a woman, she doesn’t have any children, and it is quite possible that she’s never left her house.

At the time I had a three year old and a baby. I was still getting up with my little one in the night, and my three year old woke up around 6 each morning. While I was overwhelmed with bottle feedings and diapers and three-year-old curiosities, every day there was a sweet spot in the afternoon when both kids were napping. It was in that quiet time that a few days each week I made an effort to sit down, read God’s word, and pray.

Recently I was reading in the book of Isaiah and came across a verse in chapter 40 that stood out to me. In the Bible, God is referred to as our Shepherd, and we are his sheep, as it is here in verse 11. It says,

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. (NIV)

Those words touched my heart. They told me that the God of the Bible is not a god who checks his watch when we sit down to meet with him. He wants to be first in our lives, but for a mom, first cannot always be the first thing when we wake up. Whether it is during nap time or if it is the last thing we do before we lay down for bed, God wants to meet with us.

Reading the verse cooled my feelings toward the author. The truth of where I stood with God was in grace, not judgment. I was loved by my Father and cared for by my Shepherd — especially as I cared for my own children.

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