Learning Gentleness

Lately we’ve been peppered with images of police and mob violence. It’s enough to make us begin to feel a bit pugnacious ourselves. We either look for people to slug or, if you’re like me, you look for people to mentally destroy. It starts to feel like we live in world where, as the Psalmist writes, “I am for peace: but when I speakthey are for war” (Psalm 120:7

All of this has been timed in my life in an interesting way. I am currently in a season where I get to spend a lot of time with a little baby, my son Samuel! He likes to spend his day toddling about and playing with his toys. He doesn’t speak much, but he knows how to get his daddy to answer him. So I am learning to be gentler than I knew I could be.

At the same time, I’m learning that God is gentler than I knew him to be. As David once wrote, “your gentleness has made me great” (Psalm 18:35). The prophet Jeremiah writes, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22:23).  Jesus himself says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30). 

We live in a world where the since of meaninglessness, despair, lawlessness, and hopelessness tempts us to smash things. We either look into the heavens to dodge God’s thunderbolts or we foolishly in our hearts that there is no God (Psalm 14:1). But there is really good news. God does exist, and he loves us beyond our wildest dreams. The Lord is our Father and infinitely kind and merciful. But what he wants is faith, trust, hope in him. As we get to know his love, we can even learn to call him daddy like a small child. This is the answer to all our fears, our agression, our pride, our hopelessness. And we can experience this love more and more each day by simply meditating on his word (Psalm 1) and asking him to pour it into our hearts (Ephesians 3:14-19).

So don’t lose heart, my friends. Jesus can turn all your deslote places into springs of water. Just gently place your trust in him and peacefully, humbly learn to take up his yoke.