Reading Luke 15 one day, I realised that I’ve never understood verse 4. In fact, if I’m honest, whenever I did read it, part of my mind was thinking, “I wouldn’t do that! Why leave ninety-nine perfectly good sheep in the desert for the sake of one wandering sheep?” Now, I’m not a sheep farmer. Perhaps this parable makes perfect sense to someone familiar with livestock. But the rhetorical question Jesus asks here has always left me wondering how the answer could be so obvious to Him, until that day, when I felt a gentle whisper, “You don’t understand, because I love differently from the way you do.”
Suddenly, my heart was deeply touched by the depth of God’s love for even the very weakest and most undeserving of us. In my selfish love, I would have focused on the ninety-nine sheep I had, and I would have cut my losses with the sheep which had wandered off. Why risk so much for one foolish sheep? Not so with our Creator! He loves differently. To Him, one lonely little sheep is worth risking everything. If you’re lost, He’ll pursue you. He’ll never have so many other ‘sheep’ that He stops caring about you, that He stops longing for you to be part of His flock and His family.
He loves better than I do. He loves better than you do. And for that I’m so grateful.
Prayer: Lord, help me to receive Your perfect and unending love for me. Teach me to rest in the safety of Your concern and care for me. Change and cleanse my heart so I may love those around me better. Help me to be a witness of Your ‘better’ love to those You’ve called me to reach. Amen.
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