by Andy Petry
I was reminded of something important this week as I was reading: we don’t walk this path alone, but we have a God who is willing to walk alongside us and picks us up like a loving Father when we’re struggling. I was reminded of this passage in Isaiah 40:11:
“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and gently carries them close to his heart;
He gently leads those that have young.”
As I’ve walked through this season, this has been an enormous truth I’ve needed to grab on to. I love every time in the Bible where it talks about God as a shepherd. Because a shepherd in those times was dedicated entirely to caring for and nurturing their flock, even to the point of fighting off the bears and lions that tried to harm the sheep. This dedication was a beautiful mixture of compassion, strength, and a willingness to live in the middle of the mess and grime that came with living with a bunch of livestock. A shepherd wasn’t afraid of the mess. He loved the sheep with all his heart and fought tenaciously for them.
And this passage in Isaiah reflects this so well. He picks up the lambs in arms, carries them gently next to his heart. He gently leads them. It was a reminder for me that no matter how messed up I may be, no matter how badly I blow it, no matter how deep the stain of my struggle, God is willing to pick me up, hold me close to his heart, and gently lead me as I walk this path.
Our Savior Jesus, himself, said that he is the Good Shepherd that lays down his life for the sheep.
Amid all the craziness, we have the chance this week to point those that will be coming in the door of Celebrate Recovery to that same Shepherd. We get to point them towards his healing, his hope, and his willingness to enter into our mess.