The Work of Thanks

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.  Isaiah 40:11

 

Isaiah 40:11 is a sweet verse reminding the Israelites of God’s protection and offering hope in the midst of a terrible situation. Isaiah was  reassuring them that God would take care of them, even though they would be exiled in Babylon.

Verse 10 describes what He will do to their enemies who are holding them and then verse 11 gives them a beautiful picture of how He will, like a gentle shepherd, gather His lambs and carry them close to His heart.  He even adds extra attention to those who have young.

We often hear about God’s protection. Many verses talk of His power and might against His enemies. It is a very secure feeling to know that He is so much more powerful than Satan, or any earthly opposition that we face, that we need not be too concerned about their power, relying instead, on His power.

It is a completely other thing  to understand that He considers you and me, and any child of His living today, a lamb that He will not just protect, but carry close to His heart!  He tends His flock like a Shepherd. Shepherds have to be thinking constantly about, and watching over, their flocks so that they don’t stray.  When sheep do stray, true shepherds will leave the flock to find the one lost sheep.

God’s love is like this. It is personal; each one means as much as the whole flock.  Each of His children is valuable and loved, carried close to His heart.

To us, sometimes we look at others in the faith and imagine that God must love them more. They seem more fruitful or bold. They are able to communicate His Word or extend kindness in ways we have not experienced. God must love them more, right?

The Almighty, Most Holy, God of the universe loves His children individually.  He knows all there is to know about us.  He cares about the things that we care about. He has chosen the gifts we have to use. He will protect us from evil if we are in a house raising children, in a workplace growing a business, or teaching His Word to many or few.

We can expect opposition in this world. But, God is Greater than any power that attacks us and He will defend us with His mighty arm – for His glory and our good.

Our job, as we live and work for Him, is to have faith in Him and to be thankful in all circumstances.

When we understand His love for us, see and use the gifts He has given us, and then recognize that He has also provided the protection we need to accomplish what He as for us to do, how could we be anything but thankful?

Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. Psalm 30:4

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