“The Lord is my Shepherd,
I have all that I need…”
I peered into the bottom of the cardboard box and gasped. Lying completely still was the first newborn lamb I had ever seen. She seemed lifeless.
Late in the night, (early on Easter morning), a mother ewe had given birth just after midnight. She had rejected this little one. She was feeding the other…a healthy little black male. We didn’t think this one was going to make it. But we wanted to try . . .
This was a “first” for me. I’d never been so near to a newborn lamb. All I knew was that there was something about this tiny creature that had immediately captured my heart. I was determined to see her survive. I instinctively bgan whispering to her, gently touching her little black head. She didn’t move, but I stayed there, lightly stroking her black, wavy fur. Silently, I was asking God to let her live. Little drops of water and whispers of care as I stroked her little head was all I knew to do. When I finally went to bed, it was with prayers of, “Lord, please let her live…” He is the Good Shepherd, and I believed that He still cared for even little earthly lambs.
Early in the morning, as Easter dawned, our little black lamb – named “Easter” by my granddaughter – was not only still alive, but standing on her wobbly little legs. I delighted in watching her begin to show signs of life….drinking drops of milk, opening her eyes, standing up and moving around her little hay-cushioned box. By the next day, she was beginning to readily drink from her lamb-bottle, and responding to the faces and hands of family members who had been cheering her on.
Although we tried several times to put her in her mother’s care, it never worked. The ewe-mother had chosen Easter’s brother. So we had chosen Easter.
Jesus is called “The Good Shepherd.” We are the lambs. . . many of whom have been rejected, abandoned, left to fend for ourselves rather than being nurtured and lovingly cared for. What “should have been” was not our story, and we were left to survive at the mercy of others, or of our own devices. The Good Shepherd sees us in our sadness, abandonment, loss, and hopelessness. He willingly steps into our sad reality and begins the loving care He holds in His heart for us. It is not a “task” or a “job” for Him. His heart of love for the lambs…whether part of His “pasture” or not, extends to each one. He scoops us up and holds us near to His Heart as we begin to heal, strengthen, and find Life in His strong Arms of Love. That’s simply Who He Is.