Last week a team of Australian animal welfare officers discovered a giant wooly sheep on the outskirts of Canberra. The merino sheep not only looked distraught, but it also struggled to walk under the weight of its enormous coat (it’s estimated he had five years of wool on him!).
Turns out some breeds of sheep, like merinos, never shed their wool and have to be sheared in order to survive. In the end, it took shearers 45 minutes to remove 88 pounds of wool from the overloaded animal, which has now been named Chris.
Whenever I see sheep, I think about our Savior, the greatest Shepherd and how many times he refers to you and I as His sheep throughout scripture. That is why, after hearing this story, I couldn’t help but notice the striking similarities between Chris and you and I. We have much in common with Chris, the overgrown sheep struggling to survive.
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
Similar to merino sheep, which need a shearer to survive, we need a Shepherd to care for us and lead us through life.
When hope is lost and our spirit is downcast, we need a Savior to give us a name, just like the shearers gave Chris a name.
Apart from Jesus we are nameless, wandering souls — aimless and earthbound. Apart from Jesus, we turn over our identity and future to fate. Apart from Jesus, we are a slave to sin, decay and death.
But now because of what the Lord has done we have been given a second chance. We have been adopted in Christ Jesus to be sons and daughters of the Kind. We are precious, redeemed and beloved children who are cared for and watched over.
The Lord says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (ESV)
The story of Chris last week serves as a great reminder for how much you and I need Jesus. Apart from Him we can do nothing. But in Him, we can rest knowing that we have a Shepherd who will shear us before we are overtaken by wool.
I’ve had friends who have told me they don’t need Jesus. “You might need Him to cope with your health problems, but I don’t need to be dependent on anything,” they say.
Dear friends, let us never be ashamed of our dependency on Christ. It is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Being dependent on Christ is not a crutch; it’s a way of life and a testimony of faith. Today and every day let us be thankful for this and never forget all that He is done.
Let us be thankful we have a Savior who will never let the “wool” overtake us.