Sheep and Shepherds
Today I was listening to one of my heroes, Joyce Meyer, which I’m prone to do early in the morning, and felt encouraged to research something I admit I’ve never actually done before. Sheep. Which, at some point in life, I’ll get around to. But in the meantime, I learned a few take-aways to share if you’re interested.
Joyce was teaching on Psalm 23, a passage that just so happens to be a personal fave of mine. There’s a lot behind that, many reasons why it’s deep in my heart, starting with an upbringing involving the local elementary school in England which, strangely enough, was very Christ-oriented. Extremely low-key, but the influence was felt. This gave me a strong foundation in my early years. I’m convinced it played a major factor in my return to Him at the tender age of 30. In “assembly”, which began every school day, we prayed, listened to the bible, and sung old hymns most millenials don’t even know exist. Enter Psalm 23 for the first time in my life.
Another happy memory was when it was read at my youngest cousin’s wedding, again in England, in a small out-of-the-way country church. As much as I enjoyed hearing it, the greater pleasure for me came when my oldest daughter, Alison, aged 6 at the time, leaned over and said to my mother in a rather loud stage whisper, “I know this one…”
A proud momma couldn’t help but smile. It’s a legacy I pray I’ve left in both my children, Alison and Sara, that will continue after my death. An enduring one.
Joyce pointed out a few things this morning I either hadn’t known or considered in a long time. Such as:
Shepherds actually purchase their sheep. Didn’t know that. But it makes sense, and did make me think. If you own something, you usually value the investment and take good care of it. Conversely, I’ve also heard some are stewards of the sheep, (the reasoning behind this being John 10 verse 11), where Jesus explains the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. So I’m starting to think some buy and some steward. Your thoughts?
Sheep are fearful. Been there, done that. They’re stupid. Done that too. Stubborn. I plead the fifth. Prone to disease. Which could be an allegory for sin. There are a lot of things God is working on and taking out of me. I still choose to trust that He is good and He is working all things for my good.
Sheep can get sad and mad all they want to, but that just makes them easy prey. And they have a lot of enemies. Perhaps that’s how King David got the revelation of “walking through the shadow death.” He might have had to, a time or two. The lions and the bears would have solidified the lesson, I’m sure. We all face hard times and difficulties; it’s what we do with them that counts.
I wouldn’t have chosen many of the experiences I’ve gone through in life, but I wouldn’t change them either. I’ve gained from every one. And I’m still sweet. Kind of.
Joyce says we can be bitter or better but you can’t be both – I choose better. We can’t give what we don’t have so if you’re not free you can’t help others get free. I am. In many areas. Which is another reason I love my Heavenly Father.
I’m also an expensive sheep. He gave His most valuable gift to me. His blood. He considered me to die for. That’s the reason I’m radical about Him. Just a thought.
Kari, the sweet sheep girl
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