When I was young I loved animals. I wanted several. I wanted a puppy but we already had a family dog, my dad said. 🙁 Then I started wanting a baby lamb. I would carry it around in my arms. Play with it all day long. It would be perfect; just what I’d always wanted. My dad said, (and I quote) “Katie, you do not want a lamb.” Actually, I did. But he grew up on a farm and had some experience with sheep. He knew having a lamb wouldn’t be exactly as I imagined. (Having a pet pig sure wasn’t like having Wilbur. Yes, Bacon, was our pet pig. And when we got rid of him the new “owners” weren’t going to make him into bacon…I’m pretty sure 😉 ) I pretty much dreamed of white fluffy lambs for awhile. But…have you ever heard of an animal called a goat?! They are similar to lambs but WAY BETTER! My eyes were opened to the wonder of them at the county fair and suddenly I really wanted one. My dad said ok. We bought Cassie and she had twins–Lucilla and Lexington (Lucy and Lex). Unfortunately, yes, I did name the twins. 🙂 ha ha My parents convinced me I should give Lex to my brother. I wrote up a contract, which he had to sign. “I promise to love and take care of Lex…etc. etc.” 🙂 Those goats provided years of enjoyment for my brother and I. We spent hours out in the pasture with those crazy goats.
Never did get my baby lamb. My dad told me that sheep aren’t too bright. Easily get lost. Need help finding their way back to where they were supposed to be. They spend life pretty much wandering around waiting for someone to lead them. Guess who the Bible compares with sheep? (We aren’t even going to get into what goats are compared with–agreed?! 🙂 )
“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
This is not exactly a flattering parallel but I clearly see it. We need a shepherd; someone to lead us. We are helpless without one. Guess who offers to be our Shepherd? The very same God who offers to meet ALL of our other needs. Do we understand that? He gives Himself to us FULLY. EVERYTHING. For a helpless little lamb wandering around “baaing” because it doesn’t know what else to do. Not bright enough to figure things out. Not smart enough to keep itself out of dangerous places. Lost. About to be devoured by an enemy.
“I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11
“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
Sound appealing to anyone else? We can simply trust everything to a Shepherd who promises to guide us and protect us. A Shepherd who laid down His life for us. A Shepherd who holds us in His arms. He will keep us safe. He will gently speak to us and guide us. We just need to know His voice, listen, and follow.
When I was young, I really wanted a baby lamb. I no longer want one. Now, I just want a Shepherd. I want and NEED this good Shepherd.