by Calven Celliers
This week I received a lovely WhatsApp devotional from a friend about ‘bummer lambs’. This is not a term I was at all familiar with and so I read it with great interest and was so blessed with what I learnt. I thought I would share the crux of the message, and some pertaining thoughts, with all of you today.
“Every now and then, an ewe will give birth to a lamb and immediately reject it. Sometimes the lamb is rejected because they are one of twins and the mother doesn’t have enough milk or she is old and frankly quite tired of the whole business. They call those lambs, bummer lambs. Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die. So, the shepherd will take that little lost one into his home and hand feed it from a bottle and keep it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up warm and hold it close enough to hear a heartbeat. When the lamb is strong the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock.”
In one article that I read about bummer lambs the author commented from experience saying that ‘the most beautiful sight to see is when the shepherd approaches his flock in the morning and calls them out. The first to run to him are the bummer lambs because they know his voice. It’s not that they are more loved — it’s just that they believe it because they have experienced it for themselves.’
I was immediately reminded of Christ’s words in the Gospel of John , where our Good Shepherd says, “27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10: 27 & 28NIV)
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heartbeat. We may be broken, for all have sinned and fallen short, but we are deeply loved by our Shepherd. That is the overarching theme of the Gospel – Jesus came for you. You matter to Him. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you’ve done, you are loved by the Good Shepherd.
Scripture reminds us, “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16NIV)
Don’t define your life by the worst moments of your past; learn from the past, be cognisant where you’ve stumbled, but never forget that Jesus loves you. He went to the cross for you, and He wants you to be part of His forever family. Yes, “23 …the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23NIV), but praise God the Good Shepherd intervened and, “…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23NIV)
And so, from one bummer lamb to another – know His joy, know His peace, know His love!