David, the Shepherd King, penned this famous testimony about walking in fellowship with God:
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:1-4)
A few years ago a sheep in New Zealand wandered quite a distance from the intended path. Shrek was a merino sheep that became famous when he was found after hiding out in caves for six years. Of course, during this time his fleece grew without anyone there to shear it. When he was finally found and shaved, his fleece weighed an amazing 60 pounds. (Most sheep have a fleece weighing just under 10 lb.) For six years Shrek carried up to six times the regular weight of his fleece!
This extra weight accumulated simply because he was away from his shepherd. This reminds me of John 10:1-10 where Jesus compares Himself to the shepherd, and His followers to His sheep. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think Shrek is much like a person who knows Jesus Christ but has wandered. If we have avoided Christ’s constant refining of our character, we’re going to accumulate extra weight in this world — a weight we do not have to bear.
When Shrek was found, a professional sheep shearer took care of Shrek’s fleece in 25 min. Shrek’s 60 lb fleece was finally removed. All it took was coming home to the shepherd.
I believe Christ will lift the burdens we carry if only we stop hiding. He can shave off our “fleece” — that is, our self-imposed burdens…
The Good Shepherd, Jesus, calls to us today:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Biblical quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from the New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
In the last century an “invisible wall” was erected. Secular humanism became the dominant influence in American culture, while the Christian church’s orthodoxy and vitality waned. In this manifesto By Dr. Charles Solomon, believers are summoned to Christ-centered living, and renewal so that the church can function as salt and light in the last days. Although penned 20 years ago, its prophetic analysis is even more relevant today. The PDF and audio editions are free online here.