Day 11


from the The Fruit of the Spirit reading plan

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.

Post Comments (44)

44 thoughts on "Gentleness"

  1. Donna Harris says:

    I am grateful for my family health and for the Lord in our lives as we prayed as a family before our meal today. That’s love

  2. Nhu says:

    I am amazed at the contrast of the author’s story. The hurricane news, the coldness of the one who delivered the news, and a soft touch of a stranger to uphold her. And the gentleness of the touch is what calms the storm. How powerful! Thank you for sharing your story Erin. Thank you for pointing out that God is unmatched in both power and gentleness, both ends of the scale (that pretty much spreads the whole spectrum). Only our God can cover it all like that. But, to his little sheep, the Bible is clear that His approach is the gentleness and the protection of the Great Shepherd. It tugs my heart so much reading your testimony. May the gentle touch from God be with us, to uphold us through storms and hurricanes of our lives, so we can overcome and glorify Him through the Word of our testimonies. Glory be to God.

  3. Tina says:

    I have encountered such a hand a couple of times, maybe more though the two times so stand out as they were brought to mind by your story Erin.. Thank you!

    The gentleness of God… huh!

    So very grateful for the reminder of the gentleness of God, and the hands and feet that He uses to show us in our time of need, His presence, His grace, His love… His enveloping LOVE!

    Sending Thanksgiving love to all who celebrate today..and love, love, love to those of us just thankful to be thankful..❤

  4. Laura Beckom says:

    Happy Thanksgiving SRT friends. May our lives gently whisper about God‘s goodness in this world.

  5. Maura says:

    So blessed by the scripture and your words this morning Erin. How good God is to us in His power and gentleness. Thankful for His loving kindness. Hugs to all y’all Sisters.

  6. Dorothy says:

    To those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
    Being a nurse, I have encountered many a doctor like Erin described. But I, also, am happy to say I have encountered some that are just the opposite. Erin’s words “Jesus reaches toward us with a different way, though—the way of gentleness.” struck me and will stick with me. Gentleness is hard to come by.
    I hope everyone has a great day and those who are celebrating Thanksgiving don’t over eat.

  7. Sandra Buteau says:

    I experienced two hurricanes in my city this year. When the author said she felt like she was in a category 5, I completely understand. I’m so thankful that God is gentle and has sent so many people to help us rebuild. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you are all safe.

  8. Laurel says:

    “Encounters with true gentleness are rare.” Such a profound statement, one I had not considered until Erin shared her moving example. May we each “whisper God’s goodness” in our interactions with others. So thankful for SRT and the wonderful, insightful comments each day.

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