Today’s Psalm, like so many others, recalls that we are sheep, and that Jesus is our Shepherd.
To some, this is a comforting thought. It reminds us of Jesus’ words to us: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).
But others in today’s world might cringe at the thought of being a lamb. “Oh, that’s a great idea”, I can imagine non-believers sneering. Be led like lambs. To the slaughter.
And sometimes life here in this world does feel like slaughter. Not always in large or dramatic ways, but in small ways, especially for those of us observing Lent. It’s been a long 5 weeks so far! We might be waking early, skipping our morning coffee, and squeezing in extra prayer before heading to work or waking the kids. We might be turning off our TVs, avoiding Facebook, and eating a little less at lunch. We might be refraining from complaining, putting more in the collection basket, and volunteering at the parish.
For many of us, daily life, during Lent or not, is made up of small but challenging things. Work, family duties, and everyday responsibilities are all opportunities for sacrifice. Funny thing about sacrifice, though. Even if it’s made up of small stuff, we can still falter beneath the crushing weight of its enormity sometimes. We can worry that our efforts are worthless. There is a mocking voice that, if we let it, creeps into the spaces between driving carpools and starting another load of laundry.
“You are failing,” it hisses. “Failing! At the important stuff.”
But in the face of that kind of challenge, we are called to be lambs. To know that the important stuff is made up of small things. We are reminded to hear the Shepherd’s voice and follow Him. To give him every minute of our days and nights. To trust Him with all. Even when we doubt.
Give me grace, I pray today. Give me grace to be a lamb like that.
Danielle Bean is a writer and speaker. She helps struggling moms to know their dignity and worth so they can find peace, balance, and joy in family living. Find out more at daniellebean.com