Being exhausted from caring for the animals in the frigid weather, I laid down to rest for a moment in the late afternoon. With a gasp, I awoken to see that the light has dissipated from the sliver through the blinds in our front room. I glanced at the clock and it was after 8:00 p.m.. “Oh my!” slipped from my lips. I had not done the evening feeding and it was after dark now. It is so much harder to feed after dark, and the weather make it even more difficult. Shaking my head, I began putting on the layers of clothes as it was now 6 degrees outside.
Upon my arrival, I saw a Ewe back in the corner of the paddock. I saw that she had one new lamb at her side nursing, and upon closer evaluation, she had another that was laying on the ground. I scurried her into a separate pen, and picked up the lambs to join. One was jostling around, but the other had not made it to its feet and lay very helplessly. Freezing and still having a lot of feeding to do, I was thinking that the mother would just take care of it. However, I knew that the second lamb was frail, and was going to have a hard time and possibly die. Against my first intuition to leave it to the mother, I went back and picked it up. I snuggled it into my coat, and headed to the house to warm it up and see if I could get it to its feet. Well into the night, he rose to his feet. I continued to rub him down to get his circulation going, and gave him warm milk to get his little stomach working. After he was stronger, I took him back to him mom where he jumped into the battle for her milk.
Harshness would have said in my heart to leave it because life is about the survival of the fittest. I was tired and done, but at that point , it was time to draw from that which is deeper within me.
The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that therefore if any man be in Christ(saved, a christian), we are a new creation. The old things have passed away(our self) and behold all things are new. It is the contrast between the old nature or fruit of the flesh, and the new nature of Christ that has been born within us at the time of salvation, the fruit of the Spirit.
When we have a right to hate we love,
When we have a right to despair, we have joy,
When we have a right to be anxious, we have peace,
When we have a right to be impatient, we have patience,
When we have a right to be mean, we are kind,
When we have a right to be harsh, we are gentleness,
When we have a right to be self willed, we practice self control,
When we have a right to be bad, we are goodness,
When we have a right to be faithless, we are faithfulness.
It’s all about learning who I am in Christ, which is alive in me at salvation, and saying no to the flesh, which hangs on to my being until redemption(being with Jesus in heaven). Romans 7:17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
So, is all of this about a little lamb? Yes, but no, it is not. It is about a teenage girl that gave her heart to Jesus at the Trails a couple of months ago. She comes from a home situation with extended sexual abuse. She is in counseling, and I continue to work with her spiritually. Frustratingly, she has been making some really bad choices. She shared that she had smoked marijuana and the guy that she bought it from had laced it with a stronger drug to get her addicted to it. She shared about how bad it made her feel to do that, and how when she says no to that stuff that it makes her feel so light and free inside. But then the other day, she came to me and had been in trouble again, and her countenance was very downcast. I was tired. I was done for the day and felt a harshness from my flesh, but then Christ within me stirred God’s spirit within my heart. I took her face within my hands, and with gentleness ask her what her heart said, “It’s not who I am.” With gentleness, I wrapped my arms around her and enunciated, “Jesus loves you! He wants your heart, every minute of every day! Don’t give up because of the mistakes that you make, but learn from them. Jesus wants your heart!!!!!” 1 Samuel 16:7 For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
As a newborn Christian, she was as helpless as that newborn lamb. Not all people are spiritually born strong when they are saved. God does do that in some cases, but for most of us, it is a journey of living, learning, and loving. Just like the little lamb needed me to take it in my arms, help get its blood circulating, put it on its feet, give it time to get strong enough to face the harsh coldness of the world, sometimes people need time to understand who they are in Christ, say no to the flesh, and be who they are in Jesus.
Every stage of life, and really every day of life,I am learning who I am in Christ and what that looks like. When I make mistakes, I know God is picking me up with gentleness, circulating my spiritual blood with His Word, Christian music, fellowship of believers, putting me on my feet, and getting me ready to go out and face a very frigid world! Will I exemplify that same gentleness to those who cross my path today? One thing that I know for sure is that it will be when I feel the harshness of my flesh the greatest, that I will have the greatest opportunity to show Christ gentleness from within me.
Love you all!