Sun., Apr. 15, 2018
Isaiah 40:11 – He protects his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them in the fold of his garment. He gently leads those that are nursing.
For years, my sisters and I raised sheep. Our ewes would have baby lambs during the winter. Come spring, we would pick which lambs to show during the summer 4-H fairs.
My nephew Kevin has continued the Deaton family tradition of showing sheep. Each spring, Kevin and I sort the sheep. We pick out which ones he will show, what ones he might sell, who are the best options for his summer 4-H projects.
Saturday morning was “sorting lambs” day. While it was April 14, it looked more like Jan. 15. A blanket of fresh heavy snow covered everything. Wind kept things fresh. Inside the shed converted to housing the sheep, we were protected and ready to sort.
Before we ventured into the sheep pen, we first visited the pigs. Also a 4-H project, these four cute little guys are already full of personality. The lone female nuzzled Kevin’s hand looking for her favorite treat: animal crackers. The littlest pig arrived just Friday. While quite a bit smaller than the other three pigs, all have become fast friends. When we had finished sorting the lambs, a quick stop back by the pig pen found all four snuggled together, sleeping and keeping warm.
Today, we had extra help in sorting the sheep. Rick manned the gates and kept the right lambs in the pen where we did the sorting. Sister Denise was the record keeper. We sorted, the ewes (girls) and the rams (boys). We looked at their wool quality, size and confirmation. The lambs cooperated and we were able to make quick decisions.
This has become a fun annual outing for Kevin and I. Living in town, I don’t have the option of having sheep. Working with the lambs and checking them out brings back many memories and experiences from when I was involved with a flock
Caring for lambs is a daily job. Each lamb is special and has its own personality. Kevin knows who’s each lamb’s mother is and who her grandmother was. Recently, the bottle lambs were weaned. This was after several weeks of multiple trips a day out to feed the lambs.
As the Good Shepherd, Jesus cares for every one of his sheep; you and I. When one of God’s sheep is struggling, Jesus is nearby, offering comfort. When we need extra attention, it’s there if we just notice it. God promises to care for all the sheep in God’s flock. And God doesn’t let us down.
For this, I am grateful.
Thank you for calling each one of us as a lamb in your flock. Thank you for caring for us in dark valleys as well as on mountaintop experiences. Thank you for offering us comfort, grace and mercy. May we be grateful for Jesus being our Good Shepherd. Amen.
If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who also enjoy it.