A lamb may be rejected by his ewe mother for any number of reasons. Sometimes, she senses that the lamb has some kind of birth defect. Maybe they are a twin and she can only serve one new lamb. Or maybe they are rejected because she can’t feed them properly. But once they are rejected, the mama will never change her mind.
They call these lambs, “bummer lambs” and most of them die, rejected and alone.
But sometimes these rejected lambs are scooped up by the shepherd and taken home. Shepherds often wrap the lamb in their own thick sweaters and place them in a clean cardboard box. The box is kept in the house, under a heat lamp, near the shepherd who volunteers to take the place of the mama.
The loving shepherd starts “feeding “ the lamb as soon as he picks them up. He shoves a finger in the tiny mouth and hopes the lamb starts sucking . If they are too weak, the shepherd will tube feed it until the lamb will take a bottle. They feed those lambs six times a day, around the clock.
Remember, the shepherd is doing all this on top of his or her regular chores. They are fighting to save the life of the bummer lamb.
Doesn’t that sound like the Good Shepherd described in John 10? Jesus is committed to saving the lives of all of us. We are the bummer lambs. He says, “ I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep…”
I am guessing that there are a number of bummer lambs reading this article. Something is missing in our lives. Maybe our childhood stunk. Maybe there was some abuse or neglect. Maybe we are struggling in our adult relationships. But there is definitely a hole in our hearts that nothing seems to fill.
But there is great news. Just like the bummer lambs, we have a personal, intentional, loving. committed shepherd. His goodness and His mercy actively pursue us, every single day (Ps. 23:6).
So if you are hanging your head low as you read this, please be encouraged. Your heavenly father is pursuing you, making the bottles ready for your feeding, checking the temperature in your particular box so you will stay warm and sweetly calling out your name so you can respond to His voice.
“Behold what manner of love the father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons and daughters of God (I John 3:1)
Fellow bummer lambs, don’t miss His love.
And one more thought…bummer lambs are often the lead lambs in the flock. They know the shepherd so well and can support his plans with such precision that the shepherd chooses to use them as leaders. Bummer lambs make great flock leaders.
So lift up your heads, ladies…..bummers have a future!