Sunday, July 11, 2010
I am quite sleepless. I just don't sleep.
Obviously I am up early with little boys, and up very late with big ones. You moms know the drill.
The summer nights are hot and the neighbor's roosters start to crow at 4:30 am.
I have been working overtime on photos I adore for my new Etsy shop (and suffering through the learning curves of having a part-time-small-business-@-home-during-summer).
Yep, all those things would make anyone tired, right? I am tired.
But it is what pulls on my heart that is keeping me up at night~
It's the sheep. More specifically it's the misfit sheep. Remember the two that I told you about last week? little Freckles and Sally (the sheep Mum who has been due for too long)?
They have been constantly on my mind, as well as this little lamb I found out at the knoll (where we just gathered and moved all the sheep). She was found two days after the sheep trailing ~ all by herself.
She was an adventure.
I went out looking for a ewe and her two little lambs that were also left back accidentally (an unrelated story), and I saw this little lamb behind some brush next to the fence. So I hopped the fence, thinking it would be a quick catch, but she had other ideas ~ a frantic chase at high speed.
I knew if I left her she would be out here in the fields all be herself, so I ran and I ran, and it was a good 5 minute sprint up the hill to reach her (need to remember: always be wearing my running shoes, always).
I carried her down the hill and plopped her in my car for the ride to the farm, where I wasn't even sure she would make it. Was she too little? Could she survive without her Mum? How would she get along with the other misfits?
So I spent the next two days worried sick about her surviving - worry, sleepless worry.
For a good reason I believe. I now understand in my head & heart the real meaning of the lost sheep that Jesus plainly taught. He told a story about a man going after the little lamb, the little lamb that is lost. Of course I knew and loved the story, who wouldn't? But this wasn't a Sunday School lesson or a bible verse memorized, this was the real thing. Matthew 18 in full color ~ "it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish..." ~
He said He was willing/wanting and would leave all the others to go find and to bring back that one. "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost." That is His job.
Does he run, chasing us up the high hill? Yep. Does He keep a sharp eye on a moving target? Yes, a very watchful eye. Is He worried enough to have sleepless concern? Yes, Real love and real concern. Our Shepherd always watches ~ He doesn't need sleep.
These are the teaching moments I am coming to expect all the time, played out on the farm.
I have been the lost and I have been part the herd left to stay back, and now I have lived the restless concern of the One who loves, chases, and tends to the lost.
The obvious difference being the contrast of my *anxious-heart racing with restless fears* and God's healthy (full-of-understanding-love) heart, leading out with calm assurance. He doesn't do fear.
He knows His sheep and he knows how to reach each of us individually. He knows our thoughts, intents, plans, and actions. And I am sure he has some awesome running shoes.
***To tell you the rest of the story ~ the little lamb has survived this week...
And for sweet Sally? She was sure to have HUGE babies - she had gotten so big. But, instead she had...
Oh my heart is beating wildly. More babies and so beautiful, too! She is a good Mum, I sat last night and watched her with her little litter. I have some darling pictures to upload and show you this week ~ just wait until you meet these three.
So, in this place of sleeplessness (and now poor Sally's sleeplessness, too), I pour out my heart in prayer...
Do you need prayer, too?
God, I pray for a heart that is *open to being filled* with love and reassurance.
I pray for anyone's heart that is needing You ~ that real assurance that You are the good Shepherd, that you see and know us intimately, and that you have your running shoes on at all times.
Trusting in your Yes and Amen,