DayBreaks for 1/31/14 – Be Gentle With the Lambs

DayBreaks for 1/31/14 – Be Gentle With the Lambs

From the DayBreaks archives, 1/30/2004:

Isaiah 40:11 (NLT)  – “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.”

We have so much to learn!  As a modern society, removed from the fields and pastures of the homesteads of yesteryear, we have lost touch with many of the blessings of a simpler life.  We don’t understand the connection between a farmer and his animals.  Sure, many farmers and ranchers raise cattle or other animals and sell them to companies to become the food on our tables, but every farmer I’ve ever known also had a connection with their animals (at least some of them), that made them love and care for those animals like a little child.

Isaiah describes Jesus as a shepherd who feeds and cares for his flock.  The picture of Jesus carrying a little lamb comes, at least in part, from this verse in the 40th chapter.  What this passage and the other passages about the Good Shepherd are trying to teach us is that we have someone who cares for us intensely, who carries us when we can no longer walk on our own, and who binds up our wounds.

Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15 (NLT)  – “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day…I myself will tend my sheep and cause them to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord.”

The relational spirit of Jesus is expressed beautifully through these passages.  Brennan Manning relayed a story about a visit to a small farm in the Hudson River valley in New York, where the guide’s only instructions were: “Please be gentle with the lambs.  They won’t come to you if you frighten them.”  He goes on to say, “Jesus did not beat up on broken people.  When his eyes scanned the streets and hillsides, he felt sorry because the people were leaderless.  He never belittled, shamed or ridiculed the.  He took the initiative in seeking out the lost and wayward and did not attempt to convert them with one shattering blow after another of the Torah and the Hebrew prophets.  His mind was constantly infused with mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness.  He did not lecture the woman caught in adultery on the consequences of future infidelity; he saw her dignity being destroyed by so-called religious men.  After reminding them of their solidarity in sinfulness, he looked at the woman with eyes of intense tenderness, forgave her, and told her not to sin anymore.  This moment, you and I are being seen with the same gaze of infinite tenderness.”

Yes, it’s true.  We’re seen by Jesus through the same eyes that looked on the woman from so long ago, we’re loved by the same heart, we’re told that we’re forgiven and that we should go and sin no more.  My question is: do I see other people the same way?  Do I treat those ravaged by sin (and aren’t we all in that boat?) the way Jesus treated the woman and the way He treats me?

Will we be gentle with the lambs?  It’s clear that Jesus is.  We must be gentle with those for whom Jesus died.  Shame on us if we should cause one of these little ones to stumble because of our harsh spirit towards a lamb of His!

PRAYER: Fill us with a gentle and compassionate spirit, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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Thank you!

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