I don’t know if this happens to any of you, but in as much as it happens to me fairly regularly I am going to share it. This past Sunday as I sat in my “pew” (translation: uncomfortable folding chair), trying earnestly to ‘hear the message’, I found my mind wandering. It wasn’t altogether bad. Pastorman was teaching out of Philippians but my mind was still consumed with some words that had been haunting me since our corporate prayer time.
I’ve shared that God speaks fairly CLEARLY to me, and when I hear His voice and do not ACT, He doesn’t ‘let up’. The title All Consuming Fire brings on a whole new meaning! During prayer time God clearly told me to “Glorify Him”. I decided to go ahead and jot down any notes He cared to give me. On one page of notes I wrote the word: GLORIFY GOD. Then God started talking to me about the lost sheep. I wrote: “99/1-SHEEP. LOST SHEEP”. You see God truly burdens my heart for the people that come to church irregularly. We are still a small enough church that it’s clearly evident when we someone is “missing”.
I usually have a peace of understanding when the people are on vacation, or resting from an illness, or some other ‘excused absence’. There are some people though, that touch my heart as either fragile or young in Christ that so desperately need to be discipled and led, as Jesus leads his flock. These young sheep find a hole in the gate and they wander off, and God has placed a burden on my heart to help bring them back to the fold. The interesting side note is while several may be missing, God has continually placed ONE person in my thoughts, and prayers, and mind, continually.
Then I’m blog-surfing yesterday and I come across Morning Glory’s posting “Being Led By the Shepherd” and it’s as though God has placed this story in this space, at this moment just for me. You see Morning Glory is one of those writer’s whose stories and parables teach me and grow me enormously. We all have them and as I sought out fun reads for Monday afternoon, this is what I found…meat…cooked to perfection, just the way I like it…meat…for ME to consume. I can let it sit there and rot, or I can ingest it and let it nourish me and lead me. That is God’s word at it’s best!
I know the obvious answer…call this person. Talk to her. Encourage her. Be available to her. Okay, so stepping OUTSIDE my comfort zone here…I only know this person through church. The excuses start to pour into my mind. I HATE talking on the phone. I’m a better writer then speaker. I’ve tried reaching her with emails and cards. I could go on and on and on.
God continues to repeat His words and now I have this visual image of a “MISSING SHEEP” sign and this person’s face is on the flyer. It’s what I call a “Bruce Almighty” reminder. I keep asking God to give me a sign and He quite clearly does. I had also told my husband of this when I had to explain WHY I needed His sermon notes. He has asked me every SINGLE day….”Did you call _______ today? Don’t forget to call ______ today. He’s not pushy and arrogant, but he does remind me EVERY DAY of this message.
I would just ask that you would pray for me and that I would answer God’s call and be obedient to Him. These are the times when I most feel unworthy as His servant. These are the times when I fully expect an angel to touch a coal to my lips in preparation of His work and word. These are the times when the enemy attempts to dissuade my personal knowledge of God’s word and promise. These are the times when the internal battle rages within (yes dramatic sounding, but you know me…).
With gratitude and an uncertain heart.
“Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7
Interesting Trivia regarding lambs and sheep:
1. Baby lambs are carried for protection.
2. Baby lambs are guided, not driven because sheep have no sense of direction.
3. Each lamb has a distinctive smell and is known by that smell.
4. Sheep cannot find food and water on their own. They must be led to water and food. 5. Sheep will eat poisonous weeds if not protected from it.
6. Sheep have no natural defenses.
7. It was the custom of the Romans to break the legs of the lambs being crucified in order to hasten their death.
8. Wayfaring lambs had one bone broken and were carried by the shepherd to protect them.