Recently, I’ve been meditating on the gentleness of Christ, which has been a deep source of comfort to me as I have wrestled through parenting and mental health struggles over the last year. In the gentleness of Christ, I find both rest for my weary heart and hope as the Spirit continues to make me more like Him.
Isaiah 40 is a passage I have returned to frequently in this season. In speaking about the promised Messiah, Isaiah paints a beautiful picture of a Savior who is both strong and tender toward his children, ending with:
“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
When I first became a parent, I was not quite prepared for how often I would be confronted by my own sin, but I’m so thankful that Christ is a safe shepherd who understands the burdens that accompany caring for young ones and deals with me gently amidst my failings. When I inevitably fall short once again, his gentleness speaks peace to me when my heart wishes to condemn me, reminding me to find my perfection in Him.
When I am tempted to lose my temper over the often tedious whims of young children, his gentleness shows me a better way. Dane Ortlund in Gentle and Lowly writes:
“As we go down into pain and anguish, we are descending ever deeper into Christ’s very heart, not away from it.”
The example of Christ in dealing with us as weak and sinful creatures convicts me, knowing how often I don’t respond to the weak and sinful creatures in my care with His heart. I pray for the grace to speed toward my children in tenderness and compassion when they fail because that is Christ’s heart toward me.
by Leanna Erb