There once was a shepherd. He was a caring young man, who loved his flock and enjoyed his time with them. He’d spend hours, sitting and watching over them. If one strayed off, he’d leave the entire flock to find the lost.
One day a wolf sat in the darkness of the forest waiting. He was hungry. His mouth drooled as he watched the sheep play among the fields of grass. He noticed one little lamb who stood all alone, rejected by the others. This would be the long awaited meal the wolf desired. He crept closer. The wolf pounced upon the lamb and grabbed him by the neck, carting him off to the forest to have a taste of this sweet, tender morsel.
The shepherd realized almost immediately that one of the sheep was missing. He set out to find it, leaving the others to fend for themselves. That one little lamb, who had been isolated from the flock, was now being searched for by the only one who loved him.
The wolf could hear the shepherd approach as soon as he opened his mouth wide to devour the little lamb. The lamb was oblivious to the terror that awaited him. His leg had been broken by the wolf as he prepared him for his evening meal. The pain was great. The little lamb was broken and wounded, but his heart remained strong.
The shepherd found them and took up his staff to fend off the wolf. The wolf put up a good fight, but the dedication of the shepherd for his sheep far outnumbered his power. The shepherd won the battle by wounding the wolf severely. He remained alive so that he would know he could not stand against the might of the shepherd.
The little lamb scurried to his master. His leg caused him great pain as he bleated all the way to his master’s waiting arms. The shepherd scooped him up, shooed the wolf off to his den and they returned to the rest of the flock. He continued to hold the disabled lamb close to him until the leg healed. From that day, the lamb remained close to his master. They became as one, united by their love.
As our world is in this state of isolation and fears begin to fester, our minds may turn in a different direction. We wander from those who control our destiny. We think we can make it on our own, but we need help. We need to look to the one who protects.
The Shepherd in the story is God. He’s our guide. He watches over us in troubling times. He will never leave us – even when we’re overcome with desperation – when we don’t know what will happen next – when all seems lost. He’ll come to our rescue when we feel all alone, broken and sad.
In fact He sent His own precious Son to be the lamb of God who took on the pain and weight of the sins of all. He suffered so we wouldn’t have to. He was broken, beaten and murdered. Yet on the third day, his wounded body was restored. All that remained were the scars from the nails that pierced his hands and feet and the blemish of the wound in his side. He showed us how we too will rise from death.
As you wonder how long we will be isolated – when will this pandemic be over and controlled – when will life get back to normal – we can be sure that God remains in control and will never leave us. That is no fairy tale!