This sweet lamb being bottle fed could very well be what is called in agricultural terms a “bummer lamb.” These are lambs that need special attention and care having been rejected by their mothers. If the shepherd does not intervene, the lamb would die. Some shepherds go so far as to bring the lamb into their home and raise him there until strong enough to join the rest of the flock.
Today’s verse is such a beautiful depiction of the Lord. This tender picture is sandwiched between two verses describing God’s power; His ruling power and His creative power. How amazing it is that His tenderness can co-exist with that incredible power! The Lord is our Shepherd and cares about each of His sheep individually. He carries them when they feel weak, not under His arm or even on His back, but close to His heart. Our Shepherd leads and guides His sheep but does it oh so gently for the ewes with their young ones.
In a world that can sometimes seem so cold and harsh, it is this quality of His love that I so appreciate. I especially need His tenderness when I am sore from beating myself up. I need His tenderness when I feel hurt and rejected. His gentleness is like a balm for my soul. Close to my Shepherd’s heart I feel warm and cherished. His arms hold me up when I just can’t anymore. There is a time for His rod and staff. But there is a time for His tenderness. And He knows exactly what I need.
Thank you Lord, for Your gentle care today.