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Saturday, February 11, 2017

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How firm a foundation, O saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in Christ Jesus, the Word!
What more can he say than to you he has said
who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

"Fear not, I am with you, oh, be not dismayed,
for I am your God and will still give you aid;
I'll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand."

"When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
my grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply.
The flames shall not hurt you; I only design
your dross to consume and your gold to refine."

"Throughout all their lifetime my people shall prove
my sov'reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
and then, when gray hairs shall their temples adorn,
like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne."

Verse four of this hymn depicts God as a shepherd carrying and protecting a lamb. But what about the mama sheep? Not to put too fine a point on it, but this one is for all the mamas out there. Every year our family attends a pastors' family camp in Minnesota. One year I was sharing with another mom my own struggles with the constant, persistent feeling that I have no idea what I'm doing. She smiled and said, "I feel that way too. One Scripture text that has helped me is Isaiah 40:11; 'He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.' So I know that even when I feel like I have nothing left to offer, God will pick up my lambs and he will gently lead me, too."

Lord knows I need to be gently led, sweet shepherd. Make this promise show up powerfully for me today. Amen.

Rachel Wrenn, '11
Ph.D. student in Hebrew Bible, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.