Larry and Vonnie Pratt shared this devotional that helps us to understand the profound love and care that a shepherd has for his sheep.
Sheep do not enjoy shearing day, but they put up with it year after year. Although shearing does not hurt them, they do not enjoy the process. Elizabeth (the Pratt’s sheep shearer) places the sheep on the floor in front of her and begins to shear. Usually, the sheep will become limp, and lay quietly until the job is done. They then return to the pasture with the other sheep. This is when a crisis begins. An identity crisis.
Since they have no sense of smell, the sheep do not recognize each other after shearing, and they must once again establish who’s who in the flock. They baa and cry for a few days, until they address their issue of “who am I”. I watched as one of our sheep, Truth, struggled again this year. Truth is typically the last one to the feed box, as she does not care to push her way into the aggressive crowd. It’s interesting that each year, the same ones usually come out at the top and the others take a second seat.
As a shepherd, I care deeply for the ones who take second place. I make sure their needs are met, and tenderly watch over them.
It’s not easy to be second, is it?
Jesus took on Himself the form of a servant when He died on the cross for my sins.
Isaiah 53 says it best:
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering…”
“…He was pierced for our transgressions…”
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth…”
“…as a sheep before it’s shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth."
But, His suffering is over and now….He is the VICTOR! Although He died, He came back to life! And He now cares tenderly for His “flock”.
This was said of Him:
“He will tend His flock like a Shepherd. He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart.” Isaiah 40:11
Your Shepherd tenderly cares for you, dear friends. May you draw near to Him.