Theme of the week: God's Spirit is lavished on us, in us, and through us
God promises to deal with us gently
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
All promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Please read Matthew 11:28-30.
Last Saturday, I took some newly purchased clothes over to my parent's house for my mother to try on so she wouldn't have to enter stores at this very strange time. As she and I "set up shop" in her bedroom, I helped her in and out of each outfit, one of them being a potential rehearsal dinner dress for my daughter Emmy Baxter's wedding in a few weeks. Due to my mom's ongoing back pain and unsure footing, I had to be very gentle with her as I placed, pulled, zipped and buttoned each outfit. Every touch of mine had tender love within it. (A quick story about my mother and me, and fitting to this particular fruit of the Spirit, is this: Fifty years ago, when I was 3, 4, 5, and 6 years old, my sweet momma would gently rub lotion all over my little legs because they itched and itched and itched due to being badly burned as a toddler. Her strength was my security in this ongoing healing process). It is an honor to zip her dress.
Interestingly, only hours later in the day, I went home to the future bride. She too, needed my help as she wanted to try her wedding gown on with her newly purchased jewelry. Again, I carefully repeated the dressing process...another moment in time to cherish.
After Saturday's God-designed learning experiences and also digging into His word, here is what I wrote in my journal:
--Gentleness displays powerful love.
--Gentleness is partnered with wisdom. (James 3:13-17)
--Gentleness is administered appropriately, selflessly, and lovingly.
--Gentleness is not a weak attribute; rather, it is a carefully-distributed-strength.
In our focus verse Jesus says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."
Isn't it interesting that the same God-Man who had the power to calm a raging storm with three words ("Hush, be still") chooses to describe Himself as "gentle and lowly in heart"? He humbled Himself, and emptied Himself, so that He could walk beside us. Like a strong arm around our shoulders, He pours his Spirit inside of us and whispers encouraging words to us as we walk out our days. He has committed Himself to us, step by step.
I think you would agree with me in saying that our world needs a little gentleness right now. Who knew that 2020 would hold such harsh chaos? First disease, now destruction. Is there someone in your world, or maybe even outside your comfortable world, that you could touch with an encouraging word, or a kind action? Ask God to put someone on your heart. Don't be afraid if it's some random person you haven't thought of in years--that's usually how his Spirit works!
Follow though today; do not wait.
There is great healing power in the gentleness of God.
For further reading: 1 Kings 19:11-12; Proverbs 16:24; John 3:4-8; Colossians 3:12-13
I am thankful for the gentleness You pour into me. Give me an ongoing desire to pour this fruit of your Spirit out onto others. I have so much more to learn. Continue the lesson, in Your word and also in Your hand picked divine appointments. Amen.