Thoughts from today’s reading of Matthew 18…
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.  12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
We’ve heard this story so many times. And as many times as I have heard this story, for the longest time, I could not understand how someone would leave 99 sheep—putting them in possible danger, for this 1 sheep that wandered away. It makes no rational business sense for anyone to do that. As I’ve wrestled with this for s bunch of years, I realized that this is not a transactional issue, but a relational one. Again, this makes absolutely no business sense at all for an owner of sheep to leave 99 of them, to save 1 – except that is, if that 1 sheep was a pretty damn special sheep. And then it hit me—that’s it. It IS a special sheep.
You see, there’s nothing special about sheep except that they’re exceptionally docile and pretty dumb. They really have nothing to boast about. The only reason that a sheep would be called special is in fact if the owner says so—no matter how “un-special” it may be to everyone else, including to that very sheep. We may not be feeling special right now because of our life circumstances—failure, rejection, etc., and maybe even “un-special.” I want to remind all of us today that our identity and worth is not tied to and defined by our life’s circumstances or by what other “sheep” may say about us as well (including what we may say about ourselves). Our Heavenly Father says that we are special and that’s that. I guess others can argue against it—as we can do it about ourselves as well. However, only Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. We cannot or can others profess the same. Whether you are the 99 or the 1, choose today to embrace whom Jesus says that you are. #desiringGod2017