We are back in the sheep business, Grandpa brought 3 orphan lambs over for the kids this past Monday and they are excited. Me, on the other hand, well, not as much. Though I grew up enjoying the soft little animal, the last few days these innocent lambs will have become one more thing to do on my list.
So this morning as it’s early and raining, the idea of heading out through the mud to feed my sheep didn’t sound like fun. Before I made it that far, my husband started the day in typical fashion with an “I love you.” Then I changed things up a bit and simply asked, “You do?” He quickly responds, “Yes.” So then like Jesus challenged Peter I say, “Then feed my lambs.” (John 21:15-19) Job caught on to what I was up to and assured me I was the “sheep farmer.”
I mixed up the milk and headed outdoors wondering if maybe this would be the feeding when our little rebellious lamb would want to eat. For some reason, Fuzzy has not adapted to change and has rejected every one of our attempts to feed him. This time he came up to the gate and even sniffed the bottle, but that’s where his interest stopped. As the others eagerly and aggressively took their bottle, I appreciated their compliance and liked them better than the rebel who created more work and was a potential heartache for my little ones.
As I thought about this, God spoke to me in the sheep barn - it’s not always easy feeding the sheep. Just like Jesus asked Peter to demonstrate his love for his Savior, he does the same for me and you. You may never have the opportunity to literally feed some lambs (count your blessings!!), but in the spiritual sense we are all sheep and God has put some on your path to nurture and care for.
My experience this morning reminded me that though it is humbling to serve the Lord and glorify Him - the position doesn’t come without work. There will be days we don’t want to get out of bed and do the jobs that aren’t real fun or come at a bad time. In life there will also be rebels - those who want nothing to do with what we have to offer, others who run away after hearing what we have to say, some who tease us and act as they are interested only to turn away in the end. My little rebel this morning reminded me of the old saying, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” The same idea is true as we feed God’s lambs - we can do our part, but then must trust Him to do the rest.
Another thought I had as I wrestled (almost literally) with “Fuzzy” was the idea that though each individual is unique, we are all created in God’s image. Though some lambs I’m called to feed will be compliant and easy to work with that does not make them any better or more valuable than the “rebels” who cross my path. Each and every person is precious to God, and should be to me as well!
Now as I bring this post to an end, it has a new twist - my dad stopped by with a replacement lamb for the kids - he didn’t want us to have any trouble. So he’s taken “Fuzzy” and left us with a new lamb yet to be named. This unexpected event has put another picture in my mind - I know my dad didn’t want to see my kids suffer through losing a lamb, but I also know he is a “shepherd” who cares about his sheep. Friends, God is the same - He cares about you and His lambs you are called to feed. If there is a rebel, a problem child, someone you are struggling to reach, trust the Good Shepherd, He cares more about that individual than you!!
So let me ask you, “Do you love the Lord?” If so, “Feed His Sheep!!”