Yesterday I had to find a lost goat.
I had shepherded the rest into their pen, each one safely home but noticed one was missing.
I left the rest secure and went out searching for Carmelita.
She’s old, half blind and has a hard time following the herd. I knew she would never find her way back if left to herself.
So I retraced the steps they usually make when foraging in the afternoons. Down by the hayshed, up by the woods behind the donkey pen. Made sure she hadn’t followed the lane to the road (like she did one day ending up a half mile away).
I called and called and called.
Her fellow goats bellowed loud and long, the hounds joined in and every now and then the horses and donkeys added their voices.
I walked to the back of the house, called again and heard a faint, plaintive answer.
She was deeper in the woods and more lost than I could have imagined. Way past where the goats go to eat and blocked by a thicket of privet and tangle of vines from getting home.
She was desperate-I could hear it in her pitiful “BAAAAA”.
Blind and lost and tired and frightened-but she knew if she headed toward my voice, she would be safe.
She trusted me.
Because I had proven faithful.
So I made my way in her direction and she made her way toward mine.
I clapped and called and encouraged until I could see her. She stumbled along until she was right next to a fallen log that blocked her way. We were close enough to touch, but she was forced to walk down and around before she felt my reassuring hand on her horn, guiding her the rest of the way to the security of the pen.
Immediately she was calm. Her shepherd was with her. No fear now.
In this life it is so very easy for me to get lost.
It’s easy for me to get separated from the security of fellowship with other believers. My vision is limited-obscured by grief and dimmed by tears. I can find myself deep in the woods and tangled in vines before I know it, with absolutely no idea how to make it back to open ground.
Sometimes I don’t even have the strength to cry out in hopes of being found.
But Jesus calls out to me. He doesn’t let me stay lost and afraid.
He finds me.
And He patiently leads me back to the fold.
No rebuke. No chastisement. Only love and grace.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep in His care.
I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand. My Father has given the flock to Me, and He is superior to all beings and things. No one is powerful enough to snatch the flock from My Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.
John 10:11,28-30 VOICE