Thankful: God is the good shepherd

I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.

– John 10:14-15

Today, I am thankful that Jesus is the good shepherd.

Jesus knows me. I am His. And Jesus intends for me to know Him, like He knows the Father. As the good shepherd, Jesus cares for me, provides for my needs, helps me to rest and enjoy the beauty He created (makes me lay down in green pastures) and guides me toward peace (leads me beside the still waters). Jesus protects me and teaches me to walk by His side.

He is my shepherd. Sometimes He needs to comfort me with His rod and staff, but He never gives up on me. When I wander off, He comes and finds me, rescuing me from the pit I’m ensnared in.

He is with me always, through the day and through the night. He knows my flaws and weaknesses. He knows what causes me to stumble. Jesus notices when I cannot take another step, and then carries me on His shoulders, just as He carried the cross.

His arms stretched out to take on my sin, to endure the punishment I deserved. Love compelled Jesus to lay down His life, lifted up on the cross.

I am secure as one of Jesus’s sheep. He says that “my sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish – ever! no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28)

The Good Shepherd is so good to me.

God cares about lost teeth

Jackson woke up this morning with a gift under his pillow for losing another tooth!

Jackson woke up this morning with a gift under his pillow for losing another tooth!

Jackson grinned while holding something behind his back when I picked him up from school yesterday. He shouted “Surprise!” and presented me with the first tooth he has lost at school (and the 7th total). It was celebration time!

Before he went to bed last night, we carefully placed the tooth in the special container the nurse gave him that day, then in a labeled plastic bag (which makes it much easier to find in the dark later). We tucked it safely under his pillow before saying goodnight.

Around 1:30 in the morning, Jackson came stumbling into our room wanting to snuggle. He usually doesn’t come to our bedroom at this time of night, which was odd, but I let him curl up with me. After dozing off for a while, I woke him up to bring him back to his bed. We started picking up all his pillows off the ground and unraveling the sheets and blankets to get him tucked in, and that’s when it hit me. I had forgotten to exchange his tooth for a gift!! I gave Jackson a kiss goodnight, and then quickly got to work.

Though my eyes were bleary, I sat down to write a note to Jackson and fished out a dollar from my purse. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to sneak back into Jackson’s room like I normally would have, but the night was growing short and I wasn’t going to set my alarm to wake up again just for the surprise factor. So, I opened his door and went for it. I whispered what I was doing in his ear, and he groggily turned over as I slipped his gift under the pillow while stealthily taking his tooth. Then I gave him another kiss and tiptoed out of the room. Of course, my husband was oblivious to this entire episode, snoring soundly. 🙂

Just before I fell asleep, it hit me how God was at work, even when our family was fast asleep. He prompted Jackson to come snuggle with me in the middle of the night so that when I went back I would realize I needed to be the tooth fairy so that Jackson wouldn’t be disappointed the next morning. Maybe it seems trivial to many, but God cares about lost teeth.

Matthew 10:30 reminds us that “even the hairs of your head have all been counted.” Every detail of who we are is important to God. If God counts the hairs on our head, he would certainly know and care about the number of teeth we have, and when one gets loose and falls out.

God deeply loves us, and will wake up a forgetful mom in the middle of the night to prove it!