The Sheep-Counting God

Monday, August 18, 2014

{Elmer A. Humphrey}

When I think of sheep I think of my great grandfather, Elmer. I never knew him, but I have heard the stories. A man of Welsh descent that knew about sheep. He could shear 100 head of them in a day with hand clippers. Unreal. One of his descendant went on to compete in sheep shearing (yes, there are international competions in cutting wool).  But the count was far higher than cousin could shear 333 in a day with electric clippers.

I wonder back then how my great grandfather kept count of those 100 sheep. Surely, his mind must have wandered as he cut the wool from another bleating animal, but somehow he kept track. Sheep counting has been around for a long time. For most, it is in an effort to sleep. For some, it is their livelihood. For One, it is His love.

God counts sheep.

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 15:3-7

We are so important to Him that He counts us, and even when He has the 99 safe and sound, He misses that one. We matter to Him. He will search deep and wide for us. Pursue us. Go after us with His love.

{Elmer, on the right, 1907}

We, His sheep, count to Him.

My Word of the Year for 2014 is "Count". Come count with me.


Jen @ Growing in Faith said...

It's hard to imagine shearing 100 sheep in a day (or a lifetime!), let alone over 300. Even more so, I can't imagine keeping track of all of them!

And yet, God does. He stays near each of us, all the time. What a blessing!

Debbie P said...

Crazy, isn't it Jen? We have an amazing God that knows us well and is involved in our lives.