“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” I remember the first time when the words of this song deeply impressed me. I was sitting in church with our first little newborn baby while we sang this little chorus. Suddenly I was struck with an overwhelming sense of awe at the vastness of God’s love for my baby and me. That God can have such a deep love for my baby and for us imperfect people is hard to grasp.
God is such a kind, gentle, loving God. The verse found in Isaiah 40:11 has been a comfort to me many times: “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” Too often the task of raising our children is overwhelming. It seems like I try to be a good mother, but then I fail. There are so many questions when it comes to child training, and where are the answers? But then, I am reminded of God’s great love to me as a mother. There are many verses in the Bible to encourage and strengthen me. The verse above has promised He would lead gently those who are with young. It doesn’t say He’s going to let us sit in the depths of despair and darkness, always perplexed as to how we should do with our children. No, it says He will lead us forward step by step, if we allow Him. Furthermore, He has not promised only to lead us, but He has promised to lead us gently. His voice will gently prompt us how to do with our children, what avenue of child training we should take, or how we should change our course. The voice that tells us things, such as, “You are a complete failure with child training,” or “There’s no hope, you may as well give up,” or “Look how much better other parents are doing than you,” is not from God. This voice is not compatible with God’s promise that He will gently lead those with young. Too many times I have struggled with this very thing, but somehow God always leads me out of it, not roughly, but gently. What love He has for us parents!
God shows His love to us in many ways. What would we ever do if we couldn’t turn to Him in time of sickness? Many times when our children are sick, we bow our knees in prayer. What a relief to be able to give our loved ones into His care. Often after a prayer, a fever has broken or the coughing stops so our child can sleep. God loves us so much, and He gently cares for us. Sometimes, though, we can be taken up in worry or panic when sickness or an emergency comes, and faith is dim. Why isn’t our child getting better? What if we don’t get to the doctor soon enough? What if they die? A few years ago, one of our daughters had a sudden life-threatening case of croup. As we quickly drove to the hospital, somehow I managed to sing a few phrases of the song “Jesus Loves Me” to her. Even though at times her breathing would stop and she would go limp, God was there with us, gently comforting and reassuring us that He was there.
I’ll relate another experience I had of God showing His great love to me. One of our children had been running high fevers, and we were taking her to the city one and a half hours away. We were worried and unsure of her illness in this land of strange tropical diseases. As the sky darkened into the evening, I saw a falling star in the sky. Instantly the words, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrew 13:5), came to me, just as if God had spoken to me. Once again, He was gently leading me to quit my worrying and to trust Him.
What a loving God! He is there to encourage us when we fail and to carry us when we feel so weary of child training. He is there to gently rebuke us when we worry too much about sickness or all the terrible things that could happen to our child. Let us allow God to lead us through these important years when our children are small.
From Messenger of Truth, Vol. 110, No. 22, October 31, 2012