Wednesday June 6, 2007

     I’ve learned so much from our sheep.  Keeping sheep has given me a whole new appreciation for the New Testament Scriptures that refer to us as being sheep.  I understand their waywardness.  I understand how the sheep know their master’s voice.  I understand their vulnerability.  I understand their total reliance on their shepherd.  It’s truly been insightful.

    Sheep need protection.  They need protection from themselves in the form of adequate fencing.  They also need protection from predators.  To protect our sheep from predators, we pen them up very close to our house at night.  Sometimes, though, this isn’t enough.   I’ve told you before how we lost half of our herd a year or two ago to three dogs.  The sheep were killed in the early morning as they were still penned up next to our house.  Wanting to be good shepherds, we were ready when the dogs returned.  My husband killed one dog, and we traced down the owner of another.  The third dog has never been seen again. 

     This morning while feeding the critters Aaron noticed one of our young, neutered males was injured.  By early afternoon he had died.  It was then that we were able to examine him closely and see that he had been attacked by a predator.  There were bite wounds all around his head and face, and large puncture wounds to his throat. 

     We have done what we can to protect the rest of the herd.  The long stretch of perimeter fencing has been checked and an entry place was discovered.  My husband and Aaron have done what they can to prevent that same spot from being used to enter our property again.  Even though it is quite cool this evening, I am leaving the back door open so that I can hear the sheep if there is trouble.  The dog is in the house, but she is lying by the back door listening as well.  The gun safe is just a few steps away.  My husband is gone to a men’s meeting of the church tonight, and I will keep a vigilant watch until his return.   

     Proverbs 27:23 tells us: “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever, and does a crown endure to all generations?”   We thought we had protected our little flock.  We thought we had given them enough attention.  And still one was lost.  I cannot help but make the connection between our sheep and my beloved children.  Am I doing enough to protect them from the influences of the world?  Am I giving them the tools they will need to ward off predators?  Am I equipping them with the full armor of God?   “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13.

     The sixth chapter of Ephesians is rich with wisdom for protecting and arming young warriors.  The early verses instruct children to obey their parents and to honor their parents, giving them the promise of long life if they do so.  They are instructed, as are we, to be obedient to those in authority over them and to serve them wholeheartedly as though they were serving the Lord.   And then there are the verses equipping us, and our children, for service, “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints– “

     Tonight I am praying these verses for my children ~ Lord, gird my sons’ waists with your truth, protect them with the breastplate of your righteousness.  Let the gospel of peace shod their feet, and give them your shield of faith with which to quench the fiery darts of the evil one.  Let them take, each one for himself,  the helmet of your salvation and take up the sword of your Spirit, which is your Word.  Fill their hearts and mouths continually with prayers and supplication and help them to be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.  Amen.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!
Proverbs 31:27

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1 comment to Wednesday June 6, 2007

  • I learn so much from you Cheryl. Thank you for sharing your life and your wisdom. I am sorry to hear of the loss of the sheep, but the analogy is so fitting. Our Lord truly knows us when he calls us sheep. Sometimes it amazes me. (most-times actually :))

    Praying for you and your family. Praying that the predator will stay away from your precious flock.