Open Your Bible
Isaiah 40:9-11 NIV, Matthew 11:28-30, 2 Corinthians 10:1-18, Titus 3:1-2, James 3:13, 1 Peter 3:13-17
BY Erin Davis
In an instant, the whole world seemed to fall away. We had just been told that our unborn child had serious and life-threatening medical issues. The doctor delivering the news was clinical…cold…indifferent. To her, this was just another baby who might not make it. To us, it was a category five hurricane of fear, stress, and pain.
As the doctor rattled off our options (none of them good), my heart started to race and my palms became sweaty. I was having trouble comprehending the information. I fought simultaneous urges to either bolt from the room and melt into the exam table. Then came the hand…
The ultrasound tech sitting beside me reached out his hand and held mine. He didn’t say a word. His gift to me was a soft touch. It was a simple, sweet gesture loaded with power. His gentleness put an oxygen mask on my heart. I could breathe again. I could think again. I could face my new reality. All because a stranger tenderly reached toward me.
Encounters with true gentleness are rare. As broken people in a broken world, this is not our way, not our natural inclination. As I reflect on how I interact with others most often it’s clear: if life is a china shop, then I am a bull. In my flesh, I barrel my way through conversations, I crash through conflicts, I careen through daily life. Jesus reaches toward us with a different way, though—the way of gentleness.
The book of Isaiah records the prophet’s description of God’s power (Isaiah 40:10). But then Isaiah seems to make a hard right:
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 (Isaiah 40:11, NIV).
God doesn’t have mood swings. He isn’t one or the other—He is both. He is unmatched in both power and gentleness (Matthew 11:29). He commands heaven’s armies (Psalm 46:7) and tenderly leads His flock. He is the roaring lion of Judah and our precious Passover Lamb. All of this points to His power, which is strong enough to destroy sin and death and gentle enough to woo us toward Him with His grace.
As God’s children, the Spirit teaches us to live in this remarkable tension. We don’t have to clamor for attention, for influence, for power. Our lives can gently whisper about God’s goodness. And the world who is in the eye of the hurricane of sin and darkness will listen. God’s gentleness, extended through us, is so shocking it warrants attention. Jesus, in His mercy, has reached His gentle hand toward us. May the power of His Spirit help us reach out in gentleness toward others.
Lord, thank you for being our powerfully gentle Savior. Teach us to be more like you. Amen.