Isaiah 40:11 – 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. (NIV)
For eleven years, my dog has been my walking companion. He has walked with enthusiasm, and has encouraged me to greet the out-of-doors faithfully. But recently I noticed a change. Ben began sleeping more, sprawling out on the deck, and letting the sun warm his tired joints. When we are on a walk, he often stops for a rest before tackling the hill near our home. But the biggest change came the other day, when he flopped on the pavement and wouldn't move. He hadn't done that since he was a puppy, refusing to walk on his leash. But this sit-down was different from the protests of his youth, so I, his owner and companion, picked him up, and carried him up the hill, setting him down at the crest where the road was flat, and where he could manage the rest of the way home with dignity.
Sometimes our pathway through life is long, and seems all uphill. At times we falter, and can't find the courage to carry on and complete the final leg of our journey. It's at times like this when Jesus, our Saviour and faithful companion, picks us up and carries us, holding us close to His heart until we are rested, then putting us down on more level ground, where we can continue to walk with Him as we make our way home.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for caring so much for us that You are willing to carry us when the way seems long. Amen.