Life through the Lamb's Lens
I went to a friend’s house the other day to celebrate her birthday. What I love about her house is that she has this giant picture of a sheep in her dining area. It’s positioned perfectly behind the long table where we gathered so it became the beautiful backdrop of our photos that evening. As I look back through the pictures, I am reminded of how we are sheep in need of a shepherd. J
It is quite fascinating to consider that sheep are mentioned over 400 times in the Bible, more than any other animal. Perhaps it is because sheep were important to the life of the Hebrews during that time, but I wonder if it is also because the term, “sheep” is one of God’s go-to metaphors for His people?
When we look at life through the lens of a lamb, we can see many “whys” to this term of endearment, but there are three connections in particular for us to ponder. Lambs have an innate need for protection, direction and provision. It is pretty humbling to learn that God intentionally created sheep as one of the few defenseless animals. Sheep have no claws, no quills, no sharp teeth and no ability to scare the enemy. Matthew 10:16 says, Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. A sheep’s best defense is to consistently stay close to the shepherd. This need for protection is also linked to their need for direction. We all know that sheep have a propensity to wander and follow each other. (See Isaiah 53:6). In 2005, one sheep jumped off of a cliff in Turkey and the remaining herd, 1,500 sheep, followed suit! Yikes! Yes, sheep are in need of a shepherd that will not only lead them to safety, but also towards a place of provision. Psalm 23:1-2 is such a beautiful picture of Jesus leading us as our good Shepherd. When we follow His lead, we have everything we need. When He is our guide, we get to experience Divine rest (even amidst the demands of everyday life) and when dry spells surface, we can take a long drink from the Living Water that will quench our thirst.
We are created to live life through the lens of a lamb, as one who needs protection, direction and provision. It is so easy to pull up the bootstraps and try to protect ourselves or wander into whatever culture demands and then find ourselves in a place of seeming lack… May we ever remember that we are indeed wanton sheep in need of a shepherd….a shepherd who knows oh-so-well what it means to live life as a sacrificial lamb – OUR sacrificial lamb! He knows our every need and whispers for us to follow His lead. Do we know His voice? Are we willing to follow? If we can say, “yes”, God’s best protection, direction and provision will follow…
The Lord is my Shepherd. I have everything I need. He lets me rest in fields of green grass
and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. Psalm 23:1-2
p.s. Here is a funny little video about what it means to follow... :)