The Shepherd and His Sheep: Acclimation – Part 1
During the spring of 1994 I had decided to add another breed of sheep to our flock. The Cheviot was a breed that I did not particularly care for, but I knew that cross breeding with my Dorset ram would give me smaller lambs that would grow into a healthy breeding flock. So I purchased two Cheviot lambs from a neighboring shepherd, and with great delight brought them to their new home.
Realizing the adjustment to a new home would take time, I prepared one of the horse stalls for the transition. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it! The two lambs scaled a five-foot wall and made their escape. I called to Jonathan, Jennifer, and David and we began the chase. Just when we thought we had them cornered, they eluded our grasp. As they escaped into the woods, I pursued them on foot until sunset. At night I scoured the woods with a flashlight and gentle wooing, but to no avail. I was reminded of how David risked his life when he fought the lion and the bear. I was responsible now to care for these sheep–I had purchased them, and they were mine. But they had not yet spent sufficient time with me; they were not yet acclimated to my voice. As a result, they did not feel secure in my care.
In the same way, in order to rest in the presence of the Good Shepherd, to discern His voice and to trust His care, we must spend time with Him. The more time we spend with the Shepherd, the more easily we are able to hear His voice. In John 10, Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”