All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Anyone who has raised sheep can tell you they “stray” a good deal.
Many a time, as a youth, my frustration over the wandering of the flock would cost me hours of fence repair and regrouping the animals.
When a sheep is wandering outside the protection of the fence, they rarely understand their danger.
Instead it is when the shepherd or caretaker shows up that they seem to suddenly panic over their wandering and will bolt for places unknown.
They can literally run themselves to death or fall and cast themselves which also leads to death, if left in that position.
But did this state of alarm hit them as they wandered through the hole in their protection?
It came when they were face to face with the one who put the protection in place.
The one who actually cares for them and understands all the dangers they do not.
Does this wayward sheep call to the shepherd, or follow them back to their safety?
As fast as their short skinny legs will carry them.
They will blindly flee straight into a dead end and then once at the end will dash madly back and forth, back and forth, all because they left the safety of the fence.
The protection set around a grassy area, supplied with fresh water, and normally cover, all set up for their care.
Do you see yourself in the wayward sheep?
I certainly can see myself.
I can tell you that a good shepherd never ignores the wayward sheep.
Instead they follow and do whatever is necessary to return the sheep to the safety of the fence.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd.
And He laid down His life for the sheep!
All this knowledge helps me to better understand how I need to handle my walk with the Lord Jesus.
Not to be unaware of the protection He placed in my life through His Holy Word.
To learn not to panic when confronted with an area of my life where I have strayed, but to instead humbly confess and seek the security of the protection and the way back to it by following the Good Shepherd.
To realize I will never completely understand all that goes on, but I can always trust the Good Shepherd.
He really has my best at heart.
As a person who has raised these animals I can tell you, there is only one kind of sheep which does not follow the average behavior.
It’s the one which has been hand-raised.
Whether by illness or some sort of loss, the lamb was raised, not by another sheep, but by the Shepherd alone.
Those are the only ones who will come when they are called.
Will seek the Shepherd when lost.
The ones who will bleat pleadingly when the Shepherd comes into sight.
That’s the kind of sheep I want to be.