Good News For Bummer Sheep

It is written:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

There are pains from this world that only Heaven can fully heal. While the Lord strengthens us and helps us in our journey in this world, sometimes that full healing will only be found in Heaven.

Yet for the child of God, we can find comfort in the voice of the Shepherd Who guides us through this world.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.—PSALM 34: 18 I started out on this journey with the best intentions in the world—to love and serve God—but somehow, somewhere, I took a wrong turn and got lost. I found my way but in the process was left broken. I grew up in Scotland with sheep all around me, field after field of white wool and incessant crying echoing throughout pastures. Of all the lessons I have learned from these defenseless, gentle animals, the most profound is the most painful. Every now and then, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and immediately reject it. Sometimes the lamb is rejected because it is one of twins and the mother doesn’t have enough milk or she is old and, frankly, quite tired of the whole business. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. They call those lambs “bummer lambs.” Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die. So the shepherd will take that little lost one into his home and hand-feed it from a bottle and keep it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with soft blankets and hold it to his chest so the bummer will hear a heartbeat. When the lamb is strong, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock. “Off you go now, you can do this, I’m right here.” The most beautiful sight to see is when the shepherd approaches his flock in the morning and calls out to them, “Sheep, sheep, sheep!” The first to run to him are the bummer lambs because they know his voice. It’s not that they are more loved; it’s just that they believe it. I am so grateful that Christ calls Himself the Good Shepherd. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. (John 10: 3–4 NLT) I am a bummer lamb. Chances are you are too. I’ve come to accept the fact that I’ll be broken as long as I’m on this earth. I used to think that at some point God would fix me and my testimony would be a great story for other people. I don’t think that will be true anymore. And I’m at peace. I think most of us will carry with us the reminders of being broken. We bear scars from a painful divorce, the loss of a loved one, the grip of addiction, the negative report from the doctor. Oh, God will help and strengthen us in the process. We will learn a lot more. And we’ll have a greater understanding and empathy for each other because of it. But until we see Jesus face-to-face, we’ll be broken. But this is no longer the bad news; it’s the best news! We don’t need to waste our time continually pointing out what’s wrong with us or what’s wrong with our lives or what happened to us that’s plain wrong; we can spend our time on earth concentrating on what’s gloriously perfect about Christ and sharing that revolutionary news with the world. We can dare to believe Him. We can dare to immerse ourselves in His love. We can dare to stay so close to Him that we never forget the sound of His gentle voice.” (Shelia Walsh, Loved Back to Life: How I Found the Courage to Live Free, 207-208 (Kindle Edition); Nashville, TN; Nelson Books)

Have you lost those in this world who were the dearest to you?

Have you been betrayed and hurt by those who should have loved you best?

Have you failed your God, your family, and your friends?

If for whatever reason you are a bummer lamb, stay close to the Good Shepherd. He loves you, and will lead you to those green pastures and still waters. You won’t be alone: there will be others with you who will walk beside you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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