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THEY’RE BAA-A-A-ACK!

Every year, when I see a shepherd’s trailer parked on the hillside near our home, my heart goes pitter-patter. Watching hundreds of sheep move along the hillside as the shepherd moves the pen from one grassy area to another, always takes my breath away. I love watching as their pen moves from one (now eaten bare) spot to the next. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, with fires already beginning in this newly hot season, I’m particularly glad to see the shepherd and his sheep return.

Jesus talked a lot about sheep

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  (Isaiah 53:6)

David was a shepherd before becoming king of Israel. He protected his flock, then his country, against wolves, lions, and a giant with a slingshot, a stone, and a terrific arm and aim.

While sheep may be thought of as unintelligent animals who mindlessly follow the flock, they are incredibly smart. Here are ten fun facts you may not know about these farmed animals – you’ll have to read to baa-lieve them! https://spca.bc.ca/news/fun-facts-about-sheep/

The source above discusses sheep as bonding, being able to recognize each other as well as their favorite human caregivers. They are also highly social and may follow each other without question, even if it means running over a cliff. They need a shepherd to guide and protect them.

And God offers to be that for us

It’s so easy to go our own way and end up in a muddle. https://www.carolloewen.com/where-does-the-l…e-truth-leave-us/

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.  (John 10:11)

When David fought off lions and other predators, he was willing to give his life for the sheep. Even more so Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gave His life for us. But He didn’t stay in that tomb! He rose, conquering death for all eternity for those who put their trust in Him.

Jesus tells a parable about a man who leaves ninety-nine of his 100 sheep and searches out the one who is lost. How often has God led us away from decisions that could take us down a wrong path? Or restored us when we were lost?

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:4-7)

Original image: robinson-recalde-9o7Pz2a7P6U-unsplash-2.jpg

Thank you, Lord for Unanswered Prayers

In his song named above, singer/songwriter John Fischer reflected on the truth that God knows what is best for us, and sometimes says “no” because of his love and better plan.

Some seemingly unanswered prayers for me (although not unanswered, but answered with a ‘no’ rather than as I wished at the time).

  • Not being accepted for a summer college ministry group one year, only to be included the next year, when I was more ready for the challenges and joys of service.
  • Breakup of two serious relationships I thought would result in marriage. While they might (or might not) have been bad marriages, they were not God’s best for me.
  • Leading me away from a job into the LA ghetto to serve Christ and our neighborhood. “If not me, Lord, who?” Then guiding me away from that ministry when it became legalistic and dangerous to my health.
  • The death of my first husband. Hundreds were praying for his healing, and God chose to heal him by taking him home to heaven, rather than leaving him here. While I don’t fully understand the reasons, God used Jerry’s testimony and death to encourage others in their walk with God. And eventually, God led me to a wonderful new husband, Don.

Thankful for my Good Shepherd

I am deeply grateful to have a Shepherd who has guided and directed me throughout life. It’s so easy to try to control my own destiny, or to fear the future. But there is One who knows far above and beyond what I do, and he is my Good Shepherd.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

So every time I drive by the sheep this week, I will remember that I have a Good Shepherd who will keep me close, guide me, and direct my ways. And I will thank Him!

Comments

  1. Laura Bennet says:

    What fun! There are so many lessons to be learned watching those sheep and seeing how God refers to us in the same way. Thanks for sharing these truths, the way God always shepherds us best, and the pictures. I’d be super excited too!

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      What fun indeed! My heart just lifts whenever I see the herd coming. I watch for them all through the late spring/early summer. And God uses them as such a visual for our own lives and how he is our Good Shepherd! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Pamela Wiol says:

    Thank you Dear Carol, for this reminder that we are Gods sheep. That if we go astray he will seek us out and bring us back into his fold where we belong. So comforting. I’m glad you have these sheep near by to enjoy and remind you of our shepherd and how he loves us and watches over us so lovingly

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Thank you for your comment, Pamela … and amen!

  3. Shirley Buxton says:

    Oh, my goodness, this post is crammed full of beautiful, practical lessons. Thank you. One of my favorite biblical images is that of The Shepherd who leaves the safe, healthy ninety-nine, and goes to find the one straggler, the lost one. It was you! It was me! So thankful.

    1. Carol Loewen says:

      Mine too, Shirley. My mother had a beautiful soprano (trained) voice. I remember her singing “The Ninety and Nine” several times when I was a child. What a precious truth that our Good Shepherd comes after we stragglers! Thank you for your comment.

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