A few years ago, Mont and I had the wonderful opportunity of going on a journey to Scotland. And I gotta tell you, we saw some sheep. We stayed in a castle in the Highlands, and my favorite spot was on the top floor of the castle. It had the most beautiful view of the mountains, hills, and pastures. I could sit and watch the sheep grazing. I found myself so curious about the sheep, and so much scripture came to mind. So I would sit in this spot and pray and think and say, “Teach me something, Lord.” And He did. Now for the time of confession. Guess where this spot was? The bathroom. But the toilet had a beautiful mahogany seat. With the lid down, it made a beautiful chair! So despite the reality of the seat, I still loved to look out the window and watch and learn.
I found myself obsessed with sheep! While in Scotland, we also had a guide, an English friend of my father-in-law, who stayed with us the entire trip and took us all around the country. Having lived in Great Britain all his life, he knew a lot about sheep. These are some of the things that I learned from him. (A couple of years ago I posted some of this information about sheep on my blog, but I think in this current study, the information bears repeating.)
- Sheep don’t see very well.
- Sheep don’t hear very well.
- The biggest enemy of the sheep is the fox. Rarely is a mature sheep killed by a fox, but they can be greatly wounded by one. Therefore, whenever a fox is near the flock, all the mature sheep start baaaing, warning the others. The biggest threat that the fox poses is to the baby sheep. A fox will search for a mama sheep that has just given birth. While the mom is down, unable to defend, the fox will come and devour the newborn lamb.
- Sheep are not very courageous. They panic easily. If one sheep is startled (even by a rabbit), it will run in fright, and dozens of others will follow. They are fearful, timid, stupid, and stubborn, and they have a mob instinct. But the truth is, sheep are very resilient; they just don’t realize it. Sheep can be trapped and buried in snow and can survive up to a week.
Sounds a lot like us, doesn’t it?
We don’t always see very well. 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us, “We live by faith, not by sight.”
We don’t always hear very well. We must make an effort to listen. It doesn’t come easily. The sounds of the world and the busyness of life often drown out the gentle whisper of the Lord. But let’s look at John 10:27 again. “My sheep listen to My voice”. Isaiah 30:21 says, “You will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it,”. Listen for the Father’s voice. He is the great shepherd.
We have an enemy, Satan. He wants to harm us, but he is a defeated foe because greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world, as we learn in 1 John 4:4. If we stay near the Great Shepherd, Satan doesn’t have much power over us. Just like sheep, we are less vulnerable the more we mature, because we know how the enemy works and we learn how to use the armor that God provides for us. The newborn Christian needs to be discipled and cared for so that Satan doesn’t attack and kill his new faith. We need to warn each other and cover each other in prayer.
Though we are very resilient, we don’t really realize it, do we? Did you know that you can handle whatever life brings your way? As Christians, everything we experience is filtered through his love and his strength. If we will only tap into the resources that He provides for us. If we will only let Him carry us through, like a shepherd carrying a lamb.
Today, my friends, stay close to the Great Shepherd. I am praying for you today!