I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. Ezekiel 34:15-16 (NIV)
A few weeks ago, I got two kittens. I wanted a nice big cat for the barn to keep away mice, but instead ended up with these two tiny kittens barely old enough to leave their mother. One is silver and named LeSabre. The other is black; her name is Electra. LeSabre is sweet, cuddly and content to sit in your lap purring. Electra is a pistol, always moving and a little wild. They are too little to be left loose in the barn, so currently reside in a dog crate on the side porch. With my hectic schedule, I have been ignoring them, and Electra is getting wilder and wilder. Both of them try to force their way out of the cage when I feed them. So, I took a chair out in the yard, put it under a tree in the shade where I could feel a little bit of a cool breeze despite the still brutal Florida heat. I got the kittens out of their cage and let them play a while in the yard. At first, they stayed right under my chair afraid to venture out from under it. Then, they raced over under a nearby bush, chased each other around its stalk and climbed up into its branches. They stalked pretend prey, pushing through the high grass like lions on a hunt. It was fun watching them and a nice way to spend a few quiet minutes. Until, out of the blue, Electra sprinted across the driveway, clear across the yard and under the house. LeSabre was caught by surprise and not as fast, so I nabbed him before he got under there as well. Once he was safely back in his cage, I had the task of getting his sister out from under the house. It was not an easy task to spot a black kitten in the dark shadows of the porch. Once I located her, I spent a half hour in the dirt on my hands and knees trying to lure her out. She would have no part of it. I was sure that a snake lurked in the darkness and that any moment she would be eaten. But, she stayed just out of arms reach and refused to come forward. Finally, I stepped away from the edge of the house and her own curiosity lured her back out. When she came to the edge to see where I had gone, I grabbed her and returned her to the security of her crate. I was too relaxed and not vigilant enough to protect Electra from possible harm. Our God, however, never sleeps, but is always on alert looking for us if we wander away from Him. Despite our willful nature, He searches for us and brings us home to safety. When we get hurt, He binds up our wounds and heals us. Our loving and ever faithful Shepard can find us in even the darkest of nights. Praise Him for His watchfulness!