Who is your shepherd? Who are you seeking to follow? A couple of months ago, I spoke to a group of college women and was asked to discuss what my faith was like in college. I expressed that, as a Christian, I struggled to understand what it means to be God’s child. I failed to grasp that I was precious to God.
I grew up in a home that was chaotic. It was questionable about who was in charge and I often felt like I had to take on that responsibility, though I didn’t want to. As a result, I wasn’t able to be a child most of the time. This earthly experience rubbed off, and sometimes still does, on my faith. I didn’t feel invited to be a child of God—even though God’s word assured me that I was through faith (Galatians 3:26).
As I talked about that struggle in the college ministry meeting and noticed where I am today many years out of college, I saw a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness. Over all these years, God has done what He promises. He continually pursued me and loved me (Psalm 139:7-8).
While there is still a lot of transformation and growth to take place in life, God has sought me and kept me in His flock. He has shepherded me and reminded me, I am His little lamb.
Why does the Bible so often compare us to sheep? What is it about sheep that need shepherding? Sheep are flocking animals and, by nature, are very social. They follow rather than lead and get stressed when alone. They are lovers not fighters, and their only defense is to run at the first sign on trouble. They need supervision. If they do not have a shepherd present to guide them, they wander about aimlessly and can quickly find themselves in danger. In short, sheep are a lot like toddlers! Precious and unaware of life’s potential dangers.
It’s quite natural the Bible compares sinners to sheep that have gone astray. We cannot walk the straight and narrow path; we are always turning to sin and wandering off. Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way.”
What’s happening when, as sheep, we turn astray? Psalm 23 explains, “The Lord is my shepherd.” When we wander, we turn away from God and seek to lead ourselves, whether directly or indirectly. When we turn from our Shepherd, we turn away from the Creator of the Universe who is in control of all things and who loves us.
Thankfully, God is a devoted shepherd. He sent His Son to claim and return all of us, the lost sheep. Jesus is the shepherd who willingly laid down His life for His people (John 10:11). We are kept in the flock regardless of our success and failure.
God’s Precious Lambs
I am an artist and art therapist. Often, the way I process information and grow is through my artwork and the gift God has given me in creativity. Creating has been a respite to me since I was a child in those uncertain places. This year I have been studying Isaiah 40:11: “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young.”
God’s faithfulness rings out in this verse. I’ve recently created a collection of paintings based on this verse and the truth that I am God’s precious lamb and without Him would be lost (Colossians 1:13-14).
My paintings depict lambs in colorful meadows. Psalm 65:13 reminds us: “The meadows are covered with flocks…they shout for joy and sing.” My hope is the collection can encourage us to delight in the meadow knowing we are tended by and carried close to the Shepherd. We belong to the flock. We are no longer strangers and instead members of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19). We are lambs at healthy pasture, completely safe and protected by our shepherd.
He is your shepherd, dear lamb! God is faithful to His flock.
About the Author:
Eden Flora received a BFA in Fabric Design from the University of Georgia and a MPS in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute. Eden delights in creating and is thankful to be the artist behind her business, Eden W Flora Art. She is a Registered Art Therapist and contracts her work at an Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. Eden resides in Oxford, Mississippi with her very loving and very tall husband, Gray, and her precious son, Vee, where they are members of Christ Presbyterian Church. She loves turquoise, painting, reading and learning. You can find Eden at www.edenwflora.com and @edenwflora on Instagram.