One of the most darling signs of Spring here in Lancaster County is the arrival of baby lambs. I’ve always loved the idea of raising sheep! But it’s a lot of work and a full-time job. I loved the IDEA of it but not the reality!
Jesus lived in an agrarian society where sheep and lambs were commonplace. And he talked about them to teach the people of His day and us too. We can learn a lot from a sheep!
Jesus knew this too! I wonder if He created sheep to show us things about ourselves.
Here are a few things I learned about sheep and myself visiting my friend, who owned a flock of sheep, on a chilly Spring morning.
Sheep do not thrive well without a shepherd. They tend to get in all kinds of trouble, eat things that could hurt them, and easily fall prey to other wild animals.
The condition of the sheep is directly related to the care of the shepherd. Sheep need constant care. They get sick often and are constantly bothered by all forms of pestilence!
They are dumb! One sheep can lead a whole flock astray. They are not equipped to lead themselves. And if one sheep breaks away from the flock it cannot defend itself! It will, if not brought back to the flock quickly, become a large fluffy snack!
A sheep’s wool grows from the day it is born and keeps on growing. It needs to be shorn or
Sheep don’t naturally roll on their backs like other animals. If they do they get “cast” down and this is deadly for they have no way of righting themselves!
Sheep need constant care and a good shepherd knows every sheep in his or her care and knows what they need. This can only be done if the shepherd has constant and close contact with each sheep in his fold.
I found it very sweet that my friend’s sheep came running to her when she called them! Sweet and very biblical!
Although sheep graze about 7 hours a day they consume most of their food early in the dawn hours of the day!
I went home from my visit with my friend and her lambs and sheep, dirty and overwhelmed by how so many things about sheep can also be said about me!
There are so many comparisons we can draw from our sheep friends in light of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ! No wonder He talked about sheep! They are a whole lot like us.
Of all the sheep habits and comparisons I found myself thinking about one in particular!
Sheep mostly graze in the early morning hours.
Our sheep friends are a great example to us. They eat early! And so should we. I’m talking out our spiritual manna! We should be in God’s word early in the morning too!
Meeting God feeds our souls for the day ahead. Soaking up God’s word is part of the armor we need to put on to be able to stand firm! Sheep know when they need food the most. And so should we!
Our good shepherd, Jesus, also set this example for us!
VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING WHILE IT WAS STILL DARK, JESUS GOT UP, AND LEFT THE HOUSE AND WENT TO A SOLITARY PLACE, WHERE HE PRAYED.
Our Good Shepherd knew that He too needed to be fed spiritually. He had many sheep to gather back into the fold every day. He needed to care for them and protect them and lead them! He needed the spiritual food His Father provided Him early every morning.
And in this, we his sheep, should follow Him!
If you are His sheep do your little sheepy ears perk up at the sound of His voice? His voice is living and waiting for you every morning in the words of the Bible!
He has food for your soul and for your life. Don’t start your day without meeting with your Good Shepherd in the early hours of each day!
Here’s a verse you might want to think about this week…
KNOW YE THAT THE LORD IS GOD: IT IS HE THAT HATH MADE US, AND NOT FOR OURSELVES; WE ARE HIS PEOPLE, THE SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE. PS 100:3