STORY OF THE STRAYING LAMB (AUTHOR UNKNOWN)
The Shepherd loved His little lamb,
And gave it tender care...
And followed it with loving eyes
As it wandered here and there.
And as He sat by His grazing flock
Who so meekly His voice obeyed
He pondered sadly His little lamb
As again and again it strayed.
The little lamb had a loving heart,
And adored His Shepherd, true...
But would turn aside and seek his own way
As lambs will so often do.
With His gentle voice the Shepherd called,
To His loved and straying lamb,
"Come back, little one, for you are not safe
Unless you are where I am."
But still the lamb would soon forget
And unthinkingly wander away,
And not really noticing what he did,
From the Shepherd's side would stray.
Until one day, the Shepherd kind
Took His rod in His gentle hand,
And what He then did seemed so cruel
That the lamb could not understand.
For with one sharp and well-aimed blow
Down the rod so swiftly came
That it broke the leg of the little lamb
And left it crippled, and lame.
Then the little lamb, with a cry of pain,
Fell down upon his knees...
And looked up at his Shepherd, as though to say,
"Won't you explain this, please?"
Then he saw the love in the Shepherd's eyes
As the tears ran down His face,
As He tenderly set the broken bone,
And bound it back in it's place.
Now he was utterly helpless,
He could not even stand!
He must trust himself completely
To his Shepherd's loving hand.
Then day by day, 'till the lamb was healed
From the flock he was kept apart...
And carried about in the Shepherd's arms,
And cradled near to His heart.
And the Shepherd would whisper gentle words
Into his now listening ear...
Thus he heard sweet words of love
That the other sheep could not hear.
He felt the warmth of the Shepherd's arms
And the beat of His faithful heart...
Until it came a blessing to seem,
By his weakness to be set apart.
Every need of the little lamb
By his Shepherd so fully was met
That through his brokenness he learned
What he never again would forget.
And as the broken bone was healed,
And once more became whole and strong...
Wherever the Shepherd's path would lead,
The lamb would follow along.
Thus at the Shepherd's side he walked
So closely, day by day,
For once a lamb has a broken leg
It will never again go astray.
For the cords of love had bound it so
In its hour of weakness and need...
That it had no desire to wander away,
When once again it was freed.
Could it be you are broken today,
And you cannot understand
The painful blow of the Shepherd's rod
Nor believe it came from His hand?
He only seeks, by this painful thing,
For a time to call you apart...
To cradle you close in His loving arms,
And draw you near to His heart.
So look up into your Shepherd's eyes,
And earnestly seek His face...
And prove in the hour of your weakness and need
The sufficiency of His grace.
For as you are borne in His loving arms,
And carried there, day by day...
He will bind you so close with the cords of His love
That never again will you stray