Written By: Mary Martinez

So there we were sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office for what seemed like the millionth time in just a few weeks. Sickness and injuries had bombarded our family. I was tired! No, tired doesn’t even touch how I was feeling. I was exhausted! Not only had our household been sick, my husband had just gone back overseas for work and we were transitioning into life with me as the sole parent, again!

My oldest son grabbed a book from the book basket and brought it over for me to read while we waited. My boys huddled around me and I started reading them a story. Part way through the book, I glanced up to see a woman sitting across from us, she was crying. I gave her a gentle smile. She smiled back. She then said, “That’s the sweetest sight of motherhood I’ve seen in a long time.” I was taken aback by her comment. All I could do was mutter, “Thank you.” She then proceeded to explain that she was a mother of all boys but hers were grown. The moment had flooded her with memories of when they were younger. She then stated, “You are a great mom and have very well behaved boys.” I thanked her again and we proceeded to talk about the boys, their ages, names, and activities until the nurse came out and called us back.

This unexpected encounter was just what I needed at that moment, it replenished my exhausted soul. I know beyond a doubt that the Lord had a hand in it. He placed this sweet woman there just at the right time and breathed a message through her for me. It was a message of love and a message of encouragement.

I distinctly remember a picture in the church that I grew up in. It was Jesus, holding a shepherd’s staff, carrying a lamb on His shoulders and a flock of sheep following Him. As a child I didn’t grasp all that the picture was depicting but now as an adult, it is a beautiful mental reminder of all that Jesus is and His intimate care for us.

What is the role of a shepherd and the significance of Jesus being our shepherd?

A shepherd is the sole person that watches over a flock of sheep. They spend their whole lives caring for, providing, protecting, and leading their flock. The shepherd counts each sheep one by one and knows them personally. If one goes astray, he goes and finds them. The shepherd guides or carries the sheep over steep and rocky passages, rescues them from harm, guards them from dangerous beasts, and navigates them through each season to greener pastures. A shepherd is not afraid to lay down his life for his flock.

Psalm 23 is a well known scripture; you may even have it memorized. I encourage you to read through this passage, reading each sentence three times through before going to the next, so that you can really grasp all that the Lord says He is and how He cares for us as our Shepherd.

Psalm 23 – “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.​ ​You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. “​

Now read it once more but replace “my” in the first sentence and with your name. The Lord will provide you ALL that you need. He will lead you and replenish your soul. When you choose to follow him, he guides you on the right path. When you walk through trials in this life he is with you and will comfort you.

This scripture has brought such comfort to me as a mother. 

Isaiah 40:11 – “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

He cares for our children by watching over and protecting them. All the while he is gently leading us as mothers. He knows our hearts, our struggles, and our fears. You and I are anointed children of God, because of God’s great love for us He has prepared a place in heaven so we may dwell with Him forever. What hope we have in Him alone! The God who made the universe and breathed stars out of his mouth, thinks of you! He sent His Son to earth to become our Shepherd. And our Shepherd knows us.

John 10:14 – “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

John 10:3 – “To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

John 10:11 – “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

I’m not sure what you’re going through right now or if you’re feeling lost, but know that Jesus sees you right where you are at. He cares for you and he cares about the small things. He knows what you need before you even ask. He promises to never leave you or forsake you. He is right there, arms wide open waiting to take you in and carry you to safety. Allow the gentle shepherd to lead you today. Trust in him because he cares for you and is everything you need.

Weekly Challenge:

  • Memorize Psalm 23
  • If you have children, gather them together, snuggle up on the couch or in bed and then read one of their favorite books or bible stories. Even if they are older, read out loud to them. Savor the moment together. They grow too fast.
  • Listen to Shepherd- Crowder ​https://youtu.be/naLHMmlMgX0

Written By: Mary Martinez