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
When a frisky young lamb continuously strays from the flock and the shepherd's guiding, the shepherd may have to resort to disciplinary measures to correct bad habits. But when the lamb is ailing or lost, he drapes it over his shoulder and carries it home. The lamb becomes very attached to the shepherd and depends on him for all its needs. When the lamb recovers and the shepherd releases it, usually it no longer wanders, but follows the shepherd closely.
Because Jesus, our Good Shepherd, loves us, He may permit us to experience pain and suffering in order to keep us from straying from Him. When the sinful world injures us, He gathers us up in His arms, holds us tenderly, and teaches us our dependence on Him, so that when He puts us on our feet again, we will follow Him more closely.
We are precious indeed to our Good Shepherd. He gave His life to save us from the devouring wolf, then took up His life again. In love He cares for us, leads us in God's paths of righteousness, and guides us to heaven's eternal shelter.
PRAYER: Good Shepherd, thank You for loving us stubborn and frisky lambs, and leading us in tender mercy. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996 (out of print), Concordia Publishing House. For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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