Have you ever held a newborn? I have, many times. Five of my own, a couple of siblings and some nieces and nephews. They're tiny, fragile body held securely in my arms. It's a feeling of great responsibility and it is a very tender moment. Your body stills, your voice quiets, and your touch is delicate.
Living in a daycare my children have had many opportunities to hold other families' newborns. I know for some (including my son-in-law) it is intimidating to hold another person's infant, but for my kids (especially Zachary and Ezekiel) this is a moment they LOVE. So it was when there was news that the first grandchild was born all of them were excited to be the first to hold her, including Uncle Zach who was in Japan at the time. From the picture I have attached you can see he did get his moment three weeks after Elowyn was born.
I love the picture! The image of big, tough Zach wearing his workout gym sweatshirt engulfing his tiny niece in his muscular arms while his meaty hand gently pats her is amazing! It is a great picture of Isaiah 40:10-11:
"Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense is with him." -Isaiah 40:10
Sounds intimidating, right? Like a gun-toting Marine coming to take you down. A MIGHTY God coming to reward His people and to bring recompense, which is a reward or compensation for loss. This is the power of our Omnipotent God! We know that. We read about it many times in the Bible. We have seen it in our world. We pray for it at times, but there is another side to Omnipotent God. Read on:
"He will tend 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
This powerful, mighty, Omnipotent God is also the gentle shepherd. Listen to those words, "tend", "gather", "carry in his bosom", and "gently lead those with young". Our powerful God can also be the gentle father, uncle, or grandfather who holds you close, carries you in times of trouble, and gathers you when you wander.
This, to me, is gentleness. The idea of tough, but tender. My boys have been examples to me of what God looks like. You don't want to mess with either of them if you mess with someone they love (especially their Mom), but they are gentle as this shepherd to those who need care.
So next time you get to hold a newborn, remember your Heavenly Father and how He showed us the way to be gentle.