This past Thursday, bushwalkers in Australia found a sheep who had not been sheered for a very long time. Realizing that the sheep was in danger, they notified the RSPCA who rescued the sheep and brought in an expert sheerer to help out. When the fleece was removed, it weighed almost 90 pounds.
According to the rescuers, before Chris, the sheep, was sheered, he was very nervous and would not look at the humans trying to help him. When they would try to approach him, he would turn his head away from them. He also had difficulty walking and getting up. But after the heavy fleece was removed, he became a different sheep. He began approaching his rescuers to be petted by them.
I thought it was interesting that we tend to respond in similar fashion when we are weighed down with burdens and guilt. We tend to hide, avoid others even the ones who want to help, we struggle in our walk with Christ.
Chris, the sheep's story is similar to another sheep named Shrek who was also found and rescued a year or so ago. There was an awesome devotion written about Shrek that we want to share with all of you. It is a great reminder for all of us.
This is Shrek the sheep. He became famous several years ago when he was found after hiding out in caves for six years. Of course, during this time his fleece grew without anyone there to shorn (shave) it. When he was finally found and shaved, his fleece weighed an amazing sixty pounds. Most sheep have a fleece weighing just under ten pounds, with the exception usually reaching fifteen pounds, maximum. For six years, Shrek carried six times the regular weight of his fleece. Simply because he was away from his shepherd.
This reminds me of John 10 when Jesus compares Himself to a shepherd, and His followers are 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 avoid Christ’s constant refining of our character, we’re going to accumulate extra weight in this world—a weight we don’t have to bear.
When Shrek was found, a professional sheep shearer took care of Shrek’s fleece in twenty-eight minutes. Shrek’s sixty pound fleece was finally removed. All it took was coming home to his shepherd.
I believe Christ can lift the burdens we carry, if only we stop hiding. He can shave off our ‘fleece’—that is, our self-imposed burdens brought about by wandering from our Good Shepherd.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
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