• Melanie Boutiette

Lessons From The Little Lambs


"Nicole adored her new little lambs..."

A number of years ago, we owned a pair of lambs we had purchased off a farmer when Nicole was just in kindergarten. These little babies were so small and too young really to suddenly be removed from their mother ewe. They hadn’t even been weaned yet. But we had asked to purchase a pair of lambs for an Easter drama we were producing at our church that spring—replete with live animals. And so, we found a farmer willing to sell us these twins.


Once the pair of lambs were delivered, we had created their new little home. We set up the downstairs bathroom as their “barn” of sorts, filling the shower stall with bales of hay, and hanging a warming light. We had to bottle-feed the babies at regular intervals. Nicole was thrilled beyond words. She was enamored with her new pets and named them Adam and Sarah after two of her friends.


Daily, we’d let Adam and Sarah out on the screened porch to safely play or out in our fenced backyard to leap and run. And we joined right in on the fun. But sometimes they bleated relentlessly. Honestly, I think they cried and searched with longing for their mother ewe! Sheep by their nature form strong family bonds and strong ties to their flock.


"We regularly bottle-fed the little lambs..."

While it delighted my heart that Nicole fell so in love with this pair of fluffy white animals, it broke my heart at times to watch the twins searching for their flock, their mother. And I knew we could not keep them permanently. We lived in Little Rock and it was a violation to own farm animals within the city. As much as Nicole begged to keep her new pets, I had to reluctantly inform her this was just temporary.


These two little lambs quickly formed a bond with us, knowing they were safe, well-fed, protected, and loved. They followed me around the yard at times: I guess I was their new momma. And they quickly learned to respond to my voice and came bounding when I called their names. They felt safe with me and Nicole. We not only bottled fed them regularly, but stroked their soft fur, rubbed their ears, and comforted them at night until they dozed off to sleep. Nicole even wanted to sleep with her babies, but I informed her she had to sleep in her own bed.


"Adam and Sarah were safe to play in our backyard..."

I thought about how the Good Shepherd cares for His sheep: you and me. We are His little lambs. He names us. He watches over us and protects us. He feeds and provides for us. He enjoys our presence so much He delights in us. He keeps us safe and penned in knowing the dangers lurking on the outside world or over that big wall. He even comforts and cuddles us—especially when we are confused or afraid. And when He calls, we come running because we’re hungry or tired or just ready to be held. And we follow Him because we know His voice and know He can be trusted. We’re a part of His family or flock and with Him we are safe. Always.


Adam and Sarah only lived with us a short while. We had to return them to the farmer. Nicole cried furious, hot tears for these had become her pets. We explained they needed to live on a farm with a real farmer and other sheep to play with. And besides the city would not let us keep them in our backyard!


I don’t know how long sheep live. I still image if I were to visit that farm and call out their names, that perhaps they would recall my voice and come bounding and rushing forward with their own fond memories of being safe with this shepherd!



Beloved:


You are my lamb, part of my flock. I am your Good Shepherd and I will always care for you and protect you, and provide for you. I will keep you from harm—even from the danger you don’t see. Learn to know My voice and follow after Me for I lead you to good pastures in life! I delight in you My little lamb.



“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)


“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)


"Sheep follow the shepherd, as should we..."