Living in rural East Texas, I am used to cattle – big, tough, every color, and every breed you can imagine. After all, this is Texas and it IS cattle country. Then I saw a small herd of sheep on a spread not far from us and I became hooked. Passing this herd of sheep and little lambs every day, I began to observe the unique nature of these tiny creatures.
Cattle tend to go out on their own, finding their own grazing spot. Sheep, from my limited observation, stay in packs. They move around like little “minions” from one grazing spot to another. The herd, mommas and papas, keep the lambs on the inside of the pack for protection.
Sheep are domestic animals. They are very useful, giving us milk and reared for wool. This is not to say cattle are not useful (I’m a BBQ lover). When I think of sheep I think of them in terms of human nature. I also think of the shepherd who leads them.
I’ve shared this story before. Sometimes a lamb is rejected. The ewe won’t allow the lamb to nurse or accept it in any way. These rejected babies are called “bummer lambs.” The rejection not only can starve the lamb, but it can also break its spirit.
A good shepherd will find the bummer lamb, place it close to his heart so it can hear his heartbeat, and take it home. He cares, feeds, and keeps it warm. Throughout the days ahead, the shepherd will continue to carry the lamb close to his heart. He knows it needs nurturing, or it will die of a broken spirit. As the lamb rests near his heart, it learns the sound of his voice. It learns to trust him.
When ready to be released, there is a new nobility to the little lamb. No longer rejected, it feels special, and it holds its head high. When the shepherd yells, “sheep, sheep, sheep,” the bummer lambs are always the first to come running.
I can relate to a bummer lamb. I know the sting of rejection from people in this world and betrayals in friendships. The difference now is, I now know the love of the Good Shepherd.
The Bible says Jesus will leave the 99 to pursue just one lost lamb. That’s what He did for this bummer lamb. When I finally stopped running, He picked me up and carried me close to His heart. And He rejoiced when He carried me home. I now feel special, and I hold my head high, because of the love of the Good Shepherd.
Yes, I’m amazed at sheep because my human nature leads me astray. I’m more amazed by the Good Shepherd who takes care of me and leads me by the still waters.
John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.”
Debby Efurd is co-founder of Cary John Efurd Ministries. Learn more about the ministry by liking our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CJEMinistries) and downloading our FREE mobile app (get.theapp.co) from App Store or Google Play. Once downloaded, allow notifications to keep you up to date on what’s happening in Cary John Efurd Ministries. Debby can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to comment at debbyefurd.com.