He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.
ISAIAH 40:11
Sometimes Christ is modeled in the most unusual ways. Gerry, our neighbor, is a shepherd to the neighborhood dogs. Once Buddy, the roving black lab of the neighborhood, discovered that Gerry was a wellspring of treats, he began to bring other dogs on his visits to Gerry’s house. They made themselves welcome in his front foyer.
One of them was an older cocker spaniel named Joe Cocker. Unlike Buddy, Joe didn’t leave after 30 minutes—he stayed for two days! Gerry finally called the number listed on his dog tag and found out that Joe’s owner lived up the road. Gerry walked him home, but Joe stopped as soon as he reached the hill because he was too weak to climb it. So Gerry picked him up and carried him home. It was not a short walk, and Joe was not a small dog.
Day after day this routine continued, and I was amazed at how much Gerry grew to love that dog. He let Joe stay at his house for days at a time. Joe was content to just hang out with Gerry and loved to sleep on top of the dirty laundry.
Then one day Gerry got a call from Joe’s owner, who let him know that Joe had died. When Angie called Gerry to see how he was, he choked back the tears as he talked about the old spaniel.
Jesus is often referred to as the Good Shepherd in the Scriptures, and His followers are referred to as sheep that He carries close to His heart. There are times in our lives when Jesus knows that we cannot make it up our own hill in life. It may be because we are facing financial ruin, debilitating health or insurmountable grief. No matter what the reason, we can trust that Jesus is there to carry us.
Allow Him to pick you up so that you can find rest in His arms and comfort in hearing His heartbeat as He carries you close to His heart.

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