Signposts: Daily Devotions

Thursday, June 12

The Lord will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
—Isaiah 40:11

God not only finds us when we are lost, but feeds us, carries us, and leads us. A later passage from Isaiah makes the sustaining life-long promise even clearer: “Even to your old age...and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” (Isaiah 46: 4.)

God will care for us in this tender way all our lives because He made us and we belong to Him. It is an unequivocally proprietary claim on our lives, with unimaginable love behind it. As the 14th century mystic the Lady Julian of Norwich wrote in her Revelations of Divine Love, “there is no created being who can know how much and how sweetly and how tenderly the Creator loves us.”

But of course, in our fallen-ness, we reject this love all the time, we rebel against the Creator. We sheep persuade ourselves that we do not need, nor do we recognize, a shepherd over us. As C. S. Lewis wryly observed, we are created to be adjectives, but we would rather be nouns. We resist God’s claim on our lives, insisting on retaining our own wills.

God, in love, will resist our resistance. As Lewis puts it in his essay “A Slip of the Tongue”: God “claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us until He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There is no bargaining with Him.”

Loving God, forgive us for wanting to be sheep without a shepherd. You have made us, and would carry and save us. May we surrender in obedience and whole-hearted trust to your claims on our lives, and allow ourselves to be carried in your arms.

The Signposts for June are written by Deborah Smith Douglas and originally appeared on in May 2005.