(John MacDuff, "The Night Watches")

"He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will
 carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close
 to his heart. He will gently lead the mother
 sheep with their young."  Isaiah 40:11

How soothing, in the hour of sorrow, or bereavement,
or death, to have the countenance and sympathy of
a tender earthly friend. Reader, these words tell you
of One nearer, dearer, tenderer still; the Friend that
never fails; a tender God!

By how many endearing epithets does Jesus exhibit
the tenderness of His relation to His people.

Does a shepherd watch tenderly over his flock?
"The Lord is my Shepherd."

Does a father exercise fondest solicitude towards
his children? "I will be a Father unto you."

Does a mother's love exceed all other earthly
types of affection. "As one whom his mother
comforts, so will I comfort you."

Is the 'apple of the eye' (the pupil) the most
sensitive part of the most delicate bodily organ?
He guards His people "as the apple of His eye!"

"He will not break the bruised reed."

When the Shepherd and Guardian of Souls finds
the sinner, like a lost sheep, stumbling on the
dark mountains, how tenderly He deals with him!
There is no look of wrath; no word of upbraiding; in
silent love "He lays him on His shoulders rejoicing!"

Reader, are you mourning over...
  the weakness of your faith;
  the coldness of your love;
  your manifold spiritual declensions?

Fear not. He knows your frame! He will give
'feeble faith' tender dealing. He will "carry" in
His arms those that are unable to walk, and
will conduct the burdened ones through a path
less rough and rugged than others.

When "the lion" or "the bear" comes, you may
trust the true David, the tenderest of Shepherds!

Are you suffering from outward trial?

Confide in the tenderness of your God's dealings
with you. The strokes of His rod are gentle strokes;
the needed discipline of a father yearning over his
children the very moment He is chastising them.
The gentlest earthly parent may speak a harsh
word at times; it may be, needlessly harsh. But
not so God. He may seem, like Joseph to his
brethren, to 'speak roughly'; but all the while
there is love in His heart.

The 'pruning knife' will not be used
unnecessarily. It will never cut too deeply.

The 'furnace' will not burn more fiercely than is
absolutely required. A tender God is seated by
it, tempering the fury of its flames.

And what, believer, is the secret of all this
tenderness? "There is a Man upon the Throne!"
Jesus, the God Man Mediator; combining with
the might of Godhead, the tenderness of spotless

Is your heart crushed with sorrow? so was His!

Are your eyes dimmed with tears? so were His?
"Jesus wept!" Bethany's Chief Mourner still wears
the Brother's heart in glory!

Others may be unable to enter into the
depths of your trial; Jesus can; Jesus does!

With such a tender God....
  caring for me,
  providing for me,
  watching my path by day, and
  guarding my couch by night,
"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone,
 O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8