Scripture: Jesus said, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and
you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9,
NIV My wife and I are immersed
in the depths of shepherding during lambing time. Our flock sometimes more
than doubles in number, thanks to motherhood. Singles, twins, even triplets
arrive at various hours of the day and night. We, the shepherds, have to go
to them to see that all is going well. Being animals, the ewes do not come
knocking at our door, seeking assistance. For the most part, the new mother
knows what to do, and settles into the task of protecting and nourishing the
lambs she is suddenly responsible for. The lambs, for their part, quickly
turn to their mother, creating a bond that is quite strong and enduring.
I took time to watch one sunny afternoon as a
ewe delivered her first lamb, cleaned it up, coaxed it to its feet, delivered
a sibling, and soon moved off as a trio. No help needed!
Not so a first-timer a few nights later. It became
obvious that delivery wasn’t going well, after I had spent an hour observing
her progress. Finally, at 1:00 AM, I decided she needed some assistance,
and had to pull a seventeen pound ram lamb. The mamma promptly got up, and
ran off! It took a while to finally coax her back to her baby, but
she eventually settled into the motherly routine. Thankfully, they got
Still, we routinely check mammas and babes, rejoice
at full tummies, and assist those that show signs of distress. We try to be
good shepherds to our flock. We know they are very limited in their
ability to let us know how they feel, or what they need.
The responsibility and the experience of watching over
our sheep brings to us a renewed awareness of the devotion of The Good
Shepherd to our human needs. In Luke 11:11-13, Jesus talks about giving
gifts to our children, and compares our limited ability to that of God, who
much more gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.
How blessed indeed are those mothers who both give
good gifts to their children, and know how to ask God for those things that
are on the heavenly level.
Paul writes of the faith which first lived in Lois,
then in her daughter, Eunice, and finally in Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5).
We are not told more, but certainly these were praying mothers, knocking
on God’s door for insight in the tumultuous times in which they lived.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, concedes to be the Lord’s
servant (Luke 1:38.) Yes, blessed be the mother who can sing, as Mary
sang, “My soul praises the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
May 11, 2003
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