Thursday, August 4, 2016

Young Moms, I Know what God Feels about You

The day was sunny and warm, as was customary in the tropical country of Thailand. The grass in the yard was different than the grass my family grew at home in Ohio.  

This country was always a breathe of sweet relief to me and my little family. It meant time with co-workers who understood the passions and struggles of life on the mission field. It is a country of freedom in the middle of restrictive nations. 

Deep exhale. 

That is what this country was to us: Refreshing.

I joined other young moms out on the grass, my belly rounded with number three, hoping numbers one and two were hanging with their dad and not the local geckos. We listened to the words of a kind woman who had traveled half-way around the world to encourage us. After putting in that many miles, she had our ears.

She opened her Bible to Isaiah 40 and read some words that I had never noticed before. Probably because I hadn't needed them yet. But the season for those words and I to be besties was upon me.

The long chapter of Isaiah 40 covers a lot of ground, from Israel's Punishment Ending to God is Supreme to Wings Like Eagles. But hidden in the middle, like a sweet little cupcake, is this verse:

He takes care of his people like a shepherd.
He gathers them like lambs in his arms and carries them close to him.
He gently leads the mothers of the lambs.

Did you hear his words?

Our kind Shepherd takes good care of us. We have read that God is our shepherd in Psalm 23 and maybe that idea isn't brand-spanking new. But did you catch that last part, moms? He is not only kind and close to his people but he has something special to say to one particular group of his people: moms of littles.

He gently leads the mothers of the lambs.

God wants you to know that he is especially gentle towards you.

Extra gentle. 

Let those words be aromatherapy for your tired soul.

He gently leads the mothers of the lambs.

We can be plenty harsh with ourselves, can't we? How many guilt trips have you taken yourself on? How many eye rolls have you given yourself because of less-than-kind tones? Or how little you have accomplished in a 24-hour span? Or the hot snarled mess your kitchen finds itself in?

Good news! God is not mean or snarky or impatient with you.

God is gentle with you! 

His voice is gentle, his reminders are gentle, his directions are given in a gentle way. Kindness, not blame. Soft-spoken, not harsh.

I think it's because he knows the stress of raising little savages. He knows that bitty kids have big attitudes and short attention spans and over-flowing diapers. He sees the late nights and early mornings, the terrible two's and the saucy three's, the legos, tiny Barbie shoes and jam-smudged windows.

He knows. He understands us. 

And instead of head-shaking and finger-wagging, what we receive from our Parent is gentleness. 

Some of you need to sit on this and read it every day until it becomes part of your permanent view of Daddy God. The most important person in your world is not critical of you but is tender and understanding. 

That is what God feels when he hangs out with you, Amazing Mom.

So maybe you can be a bit kinder to yourself and to the next mom over.

God is gentle with you.

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