I Googled to see “how many times are we called sheep in the Bible?” The answer was … over 200 times!! We spent a nice Sunday at my nephew’s farm with hundreds of sheep and over 150 new baby lambs. We joked about being called sheep in the Bible and how that’s not really a compliment. But then again, if Jesus is called “the lamb of God,” then maybe it’s not totally an insult. And, if you have seen new baby lambs, they are super cute. We brought some friends with us and their girls got to experience the farm. They chased and held baby lambs. They learned so much & had a blast.
As my brother-in-law, sister, nieces and nephews explained things about the farm and how they worked, I stood back and watched in awe. The way that they care for the sheep & the new baby lambs is just amazing. They know how much they eat, how many there are, how many babies there are, when the lambs will get weaned from their moms and when they will go to market & on and on. As much as it is a business and a job, it really is a labor of love. They love to share it too, to take time out to explain things to interested new comers.
I was just so proud of them and how this farm unites them – how it always has. In good times and bad, they always stuck together. The kids all learned the value of hard work, got to witness the miracle of birth, and to understand death & loss. They’re no longer little kids, but have grown into wonderful adults and young-adults. They have each other’s back, and are great examples of being a good neighbor or a good shepherd.
My brother-in-law was in a serious farm accident less than 2 years ago. It was an event that, as tragic and scary as it was, drew them closer together. It drew us all closer together. And people came to help them, to stand in and be the shepherd for a while until he could recover. To see him this weekend – walking, lifting baby lambs and telling all about the farm, it literally warmed my heart. He is still “the miracle man” in my book – the fact that he’s here today is certainly a miracle.
Maybe being a sheep isn’t such a bad thing. You see, we are all a part of God’s flock. As much as we don’t want to admit it, we are sometimes lost and wandering & we need a shepherd to guide us (& maybe a good sheep dog.)