I’ve always loved sheep. They’re my fourth favorite animal. So when Sheep World was on our itinerary you can imagine how ecstatic I was.
When we arrived we met the dogs that herd the sheep and watched their impeccable behavior as they performed for their shepherd.
Then the eye dog ran off to go get some sheep and bring them to the shepherd. The sheep were so close to the shepherd as they huddled in close and moved in circles around him.
Then the shepherd taught us how to shear a sheep, moving the sheep in all sorts of crazy shapes using pressure points. As the shepherd shaved off layers of old, fuzzy wool, he invited me to come give it a go! So up I went and I wedged the sheep between my knees and began shaving off the wool. I thought it was going to break its neck in the position I had it in, but to my surprise it held still and let me cut the wool off.
You may be wondering why on earth I would be so fascinated by sheep to have them as my fourth favorite animal.
I love the symbolism Jesus gives us in the Bible of us being the sheep and Him being the great shepherd.
In John 10:11 it says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.” – Psalm 23:1
Sheep are stupid. They really don’t do a whole lot besides eat grass and stand around. In many ways they are helpless and need a shepherd to look out for them and protect them.
Jesus reminds us in John 10: 12-14,
“But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
The hireling flees because he is a hireling and doesn’t care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know my sheep and am known by my own.”
In the same way sheep need a shepherd, we need Jesus! He will leave a herd of 99 to find you because that is how valuable YOU are to Him!
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes ome, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to the, rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!
I say to you, that likewise there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance.”
Each of the sheep today were marked with a tag on their ear, telling which farmer they belong to. When we believe in Christ, He puts a tag on us saying we belong to Him. He stamps an eternal address on our hearts that reads: Heaven.
As I was shearing the sheep today it made me think of how God gives us new chances every day. His mercies are new every morning and when we turn to Him, he shears off our old coats that don’t belong and lets us be free.
Sometimes we carry around so much dirty wool it starts to weigh us down, and grows so thick it can cover our eyes so we can’t see!
Sometimes what we need is a good shearing so we can step out of our dirty wool and have a fresh start.
“and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created you” –Colossians 3:10
When God shears us and snips off what doesn’t belong, sometimes He shears us like the sheep and uses pressure points to put us in uncomfortable situations where it feels like our necks are going to break. We feel like we are wrapped up like pretzels and can’t move. However, this is the only way to give us the proper shaving we need
Just like the sheep, we are wedged in between God’s knees until everything that doesn’t belong is removed.
I am so excited to shed off everything that has been weighing me down and start to live in the new life God has prepared for me.
Thanks for following my adventures in New Zealand! I will be back soon with the next story, or when I can find wifi!! 😉
Nicole #dostuff #NewZealand #NewNicole