Carried in the Arms of the Shepherd

I love to read information about the sheep/shepherd relationship, for it helps me to better understand my relationship with the Great Shepherd.  Yesterday, I was reading that when a sheep grows too tired or weary to walk, the shepherd will pick it up and carry it until the sheep can walk again.  Not only does this give the sheep a chance to rest and regain its strength, but it creates an unbreakable bond between the sheep and the shepherd. When it is carried, the sheep learns to love and trust the shepherd in a whole new way.  The more often the sheep is carried, the greater the bond grows.  Is that precious or what?

So many times we wonder why God would allow His sheep to go through such heart-breaking trials, but I think I now understand the reason.  He takes us to a place where we are too tired or weary to walk so that He can carry us and build that special bond that can only be had during such times.  He allows us to walk through the valleys so that we can learn to love and trust Him in a whole new way.  And each time we are carried, that bond of love and trust grows.  So, you see, it's not a punishment but a privilege. 

Now it makes sense to me how the writers in the New Testament could speak of rejoicing in tribulations.  We can rejoice because we know it's at those times that we are too weary to walk that we are tucked safely in the Savior's arms.  He is carrying us through the dark valleys and making sure that we have the strength to reach the other side.  Such care.  Such devotion.  Such love.

Instead of complaining about our circumstances today, how about we take a few minutes to thank the Shepherd for His great love and devotion to every single sheep.  He's carrying us.  The least we can do is call upon Him!

 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. - John 10:14