FEED MY LAMBS

 

 
FEED MY LAMBS IN EVERY VALLEY

John 21:15

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, SIMON, SON OF JONAS, LOVEST THOU ME MORE THAN THESE?  He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.  He saith unto him, FEED MY LAMBS”

                                                                     Psalm 23:4

“Yes, through I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:  for thou art with me; they rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

                                                   *******************************

As a child growing up on our family farm in Mississippi, I especially appreciated that Our Lord used so many agricultural and livestock analogies and metaphors in his teaching ministry while He was here with us in the flesh.  Here are some of the ways I was taught were the proper way to feed and care for livestock:

1)  Approach the creature gently;

2)  Carry only fresh food to them;

3)  Offer a small amount for acceptance of any strange new foods;

4)  Respect the space around the animal for their own comfort

and your own safety;

5)  Hum and speak softly reassuring words to a new animal;

6)  Provide only the correct amount for that day’s nurture so as to

avoid waste and spoilage;

7)  Keep the pens shoveled, raked and spread with fresh straw;

8)  Observe and report any animals that are in conflict;

9)  Walk around amongst the animals to check for injuries;

10)Securely fasten all gates for the animals’ own protection.

As I have journeyed through life since those farm days, I have experienced the good results when I remember to practice these same steps in “feeding” the lambs and sheep of this world.  I believe Jesus used the “feed my lambs” metaphor for extremely good reasons!  He knew that those disciples were very familiar with the proper care of livestock.  I believe He intended for them to follow all the practices I have listed above, as well as others, when feeding and caring for the lambs, the children in God’s family.  Hurting, lost people benefit when approached in the same ways a good farmer will treat his/her livestock.

In addition for the actual feeding and care time spent at the livestock pens, I was also taught as a child not to fear going out in all weathers or in the dark or in new parts of our farmlands to find “lost sheep.”  I was taught to secure the “99” and go out and bring home the “1” lost animal.  How many times I recited, in trembling and faith, the 23rd Psalm as I bent into a driving rain to go after a newborn animal bellowed over by its frantic mother!

Brothers and sisters, fellow seekers and disciples, let us go out to minister to both bodies and souls as good animal husbandmen  would go to feed and care for livestock.  Remind yourselves always that Jesus commissioned the disciples to show their love for Him by the instruction to “Feed my lambs” for excellent reasons.  You will be amazed and blessed as you follow the practices with His human lambs that He knew were correct for using with actual lambs.  As you step out, leaving all fear behind, you too will bring many lambs out of the dark and stormy places of  this world!

In closing today, I will just share a small verse I have been humming to myself in preparing this post today:

Carrying a bucket of fresh grain

I tripped along in song

so gladsome was I after the rain

I knew we had needed for so long.

Unlatching so carefully the old wooden gate

I whispered in more song

Unclenching a hand so slow without prate

                                   I offered best kernels to little one most in the wrong.

 

About granbee

writer,grandmother,gardener, dog trainer, dreampainter, hiker, sometimes pianist
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10 Responses to FEED MY LAMBS

  1. Eric Alagan says:

    Jesus used language that resonated with peoples of those days – whether farming, animal husbandry, fishing and so forth. These metaphors are timeless. I wonder how dogs, cats, horses and…were viewed.

    Lambs have some significance – helpless as kids, provide wool as sheep and finally slaughtered for meat. Parallels human existence – the slaughterer in our case, the Reaper. How do we wish to be treated? How do we treat our fellow man and feed animals? The large farms live by two words – with efficiency and expedience, not with love and care. I delve into these issues in my forthcoming book, Fallen Grace, The Return – about killing for food and how this fits in with Love and sin.

    I love the ‘verse’ – captures the essence of what you say. Beautiful and earthy. You finished off with – “I offered best kernels to little one most in the wrong”. This is so very right, it seems to me because,

    Man’s wisdom, judgement and rewards pale when compared to God’s.

    All in all a wonderful post. Thank you for this sharing.

    Luv and hugz to Granbee,
    Eric 🙂

    • granbee says:

      Dear Eric, bless you for your extremely thoughtful feedback, ongoing support, and very prayer-provoking questions about the large, agri-business type farms vis a vis “feeding My lambs.” instructives from Our Lord. I am so pleased you affirmed the last line of my verse, for that concept is extremely important to me. The ones who need the most love and ministry are the least lovable by human standards, in many cases. Bless you. I so look forward to the publication of your book,FALLEN GRACE: THE RETURN. Lead on, Brother Eric!

  2. You were correct my friend that I find comfort in and appreciate this post a great deal. You did a wonderful job portraying some of the most important biblical principals He has given us and I am in complete agreement. I’ve actually been working on a poem regarding this similar idea for quite some time now 🙂 Such a gentle and loving approach is what the world needs and I do well to remember it myself when I write sometimes, because I’ve maybe heard too much of the old traditional, legalistic, hell fire and brimstone, damnation preaching over the past several years. While there is a time and place for correction and to teach of Satan’s evil ways, we need to meet each person where they are in life, caring for and nurturing them as babes in Christ. Great post and warm hugs to you!

    • granbee says:

      JessieJ, bless you for visiting this blog and taking the time, prayer, and thought to comment so carefully and lovingly! The “caring for and nurturing them as babes in Christ” is extremely important to me. Coming from such a strong, victorious-over-evil, Christian as yourself, these comments are taken most seriously and prayerfully by myself. I look forward to the time when you can publish this poem you have been working on, the one you say is similar to the ideas in “Feed My Lambs”. May you walk in brighter and brighter Light and be comforted by ever greater riches of His Grace!

  3. 4hispraise says:

    You left nothing out, except the cleaning up after them part; my personal favorite. That’s ours to do in any life. Oh, Oh….. looks like I overlooked rule number seven. How soon we forget unpleasantries. My, what a thought-full post. Tell me that verse was yours; I hum tenor.

    • granbee says:

      4hispraise, bless you for your encourgement here! Yes, cleaning up other folks’ messes is an essential ingredient of the Christian journey, I find on MANY days! Ha! Yes, the verse is mine. Any verses I post here in my role as guest author will be mine, unless given attribution otherwise. My daddy, our church songleader in my childhood church in rural Mississippi, also sang a wonderful Irish tenor!

  4. writinggomer says:

    Born in the city, worked in the country. I live in the country now and love it, wish we had animals, there is a lot of peace to be found in animals and tending to them. Great analogy granbee, the bible and Jesus speak of sheep for good reason! Even as we are tended to by the Shepard, we need to tend to His flock as we are to be His helping hands.
    Thanks for a great post.
    Blessings
    Greg

    • granbee says:

      Greg, welcome to the pastoral life! So pleased you agree with me (and many others I have heard and read) that Jesus used the lambs and sheep analogies for excellent reasons. We ARE to care for His flock, the family of God, the same ways. We are His only hands and feet here right now, aren’t we? Bless you for your ongoing encouragement!

  5. ptl2010 says:

    Super duper handling steps granbee. I love your farm analogies.
    Thank you for descirbing and sharing the handling steps so clearly that even us folks from the city can understand and yes imagine. Blessed be the lambs God brings our way.

    • granbee says:

      Oh, wow, ptl2010, I am so relieved I described the handling steps effectively for you city folk! I suppose I should not be too surprised, for I was often called upon in the summers to instruct our city cousins on proper animal care! Hallelujah is what I say when I think of how God knows exactly when and how to put the lambs in our pathways through this life!

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