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Mom, Trust the Shepherd!

By Laura McDowell

Do you ever worry about the future? The unknown? What about your child's future? I do. I try not to because I know God says not to worry, but if I’m being honest, I do worry sometimes. Especially about my son’s future. I want the very best for him and the way the world’s going scares me sometimes. How many times have you asked yourself, “What kind of world is my child going to grow up in?”, or “What will the world be like when my child’s an adult?”

Recently, my son woke up in the middle of the night because he had a bad dream and for the life of me, I could not fall back asleep afterwards. One thing I’ve come to learn in life is that when I can’t sleep that’s usually God’s way of telling me he wants to tell me something. So, after tossing and turning for over an hour, I finally got up and started reading the Bible. I found myself reading Isaiah chapter 40. In Isaiah chapter 40, verse 11 the NIV translation 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.”

Another translation reads,

“He holds them close, while their mothers walk beside him.”

Can we just pause a minute and let that passage paint a picture inside our heads? Imagine Jesus, the Good Shepherd, walking down the road, carrying a lamb in his arms with one hand gently cradling the lamb’s head against his heart. And right next to him walks the mother sheep trusting him wherever he goes. It’s a beautiful image.

Israelites being exiled to Babylon

This passage was written when the Israelites were still in captivity in Babylon. I imagine their mothers worried over the same things we do today. They probably asked themselves often, “What kind of future will my child have?” Let me ask you something. Aren’t you glad that we serve a God who does not leave us in the pit of despair, but instead stoops down to our level, pulls us out, and provides us with all the comfort and encouragement we need in that moment? That’s exactly what he did with this passage. All of Isaiah 40 was meant to be uplifting and encouraging to the captive Israelites who were worried about their future.

There are two promises I’d like us to glean from this passage. There’s a promise for our children and a promise for us. The first promise is this: God will take care of our children. He will hold them in His arms and cradle their head against His heart as a shepherd does a little lamb. Notice that the mother sheep trusts the shepherd enough to let Him hold her lamb. She trusts Him because she also knows the shepherd and she knows how good He is. So, don’t be afraid to trust your children unto the Lord. Surrender their future to him. He is good and He will hold them tightly.



The second promise is this: God will take care of us. “He gently leads those that have young.” He doesn’t lead forcefully or dogmatically, but gently. The mother sheep is having to trust that the shepherd not only knows where He’s going, but also that He’s going to get her and her lamb there safely. Since the shepherd is taller than the sheep, He has a higher vantage point and can see clearly the road ahead. He can see obstacles and dangers that the sheep can’t see since it’s lower to the ground. But also, since He can see what’s lying on the road ahead, He also knows how to gently lead the sheep through those obstacles once they reach them because He already knows what’s coming. The sheep is trusting the shepherd to safely guide her and her lamb through those dangers. But don’t forget a key part of the verse: “…their mothers walk beside him”. What happens when a sheep leaves the side of the shepherd? Bad things. Remember, your enemy the devil prowls around like a hungry lion seeking those he can devour. As long as you’re by the side of the shepherd you’re safe. If you leave His side, you will not make it through those obstacles safely. You need Him to help you. He can see more than you can. Trust Him to get you safely through it. And trust Him also to carry your child’s future for you.


I leave you with this final thought: the Israelites were once captive in Babylon. They worried about the future just as you and I today worry about it. They worried not only about their own future, but also about their children’s future. But we know how the story turned out. God continued to watch over them and provide for them. As a shepherd gently leads a sheep through dangerous obstacles, so Jesus will gently lead you through them as long as you remain by His side. This Mother’s Day, as you love on your children and as they love on you, don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough trouble of its own. But instead, surrender the future into the Shepherd’s loving and gentle hands and He will safely lead you and your children through any obstacles you might encounter along the way.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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