If you look closely at the banner photo at the top of this page you will see white wooly sheep grazing in a sunny, grassy meadow. They are kept safe from the outside world by a sturdy wood fence, while their shepherd keeps watch nearby.
This is a story of someone who is a black sheep longing to become a white sheep, so that he, too, can graze peacefully, in a light-filled grassy meadow, and be kept safe from the things that cause deep pain and sorrow, and bring guilt and shame; yet his heart’s desire can only be fulfilled at the foot of a wooden cross.
The road upon which he walked has led him into an pit from which he cannot climb out. It’s dark and confining; a prison of his own doing. He has no power, no control; his life is dictated by vice. In his rants and his raves, all his deep hurts, sorrows, and guilt profanely spew forth from his confining cave; yet he makes light of his life.
When the lifeline is thrown he cannot grasp hold, for darkness fills his mind and his heart. He cannot see Jesus by his side, waiting to reach out and save him from the descent into darker darkness, by bringing him into His light. If only he understood!
For him Jesus died; for him Jesus waits—patiently and lovingly, protecting him until that moment when he cries out His name. Oh, the rejoicing that awaits him! The cleansing and healing; love complete and amazing to make him whole! Jesus to comfort and embrace! And in that loving embrace he will see that “Though [his] sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”
He will be astonished to find he is white, not black. Instead of darkness, light; instead of a broken heart, one that is mended and whole; instead of the death—the wages for his sin—eternal life, the price paid by Jesus.
All of this awaiting him—one word will save him; but how long for him to cry out? How long, Lord, will he continue in darkness? How long before Your light pierces the darkness, as he calls on the name that is above all others, the name by which men can be saved—Jesus?
Heavenly Father, our hope is in You. On this Lord’s day, our hearts cry out for all those who are lost in darkness, who don’t know that You’re waiting for them to call Your Son’s name. Bind the work of the enemy in their lives, that they may see and know that there is no other name under heaven by whom they can be saved. There is only one name, Jesus.
Thank You, Jesus, for going out and finding lost sheep; so many of us were once lost, but now are found, and who were blind, but now see. Oh, how we long for those whom we know and love to come into our flock! This is Your love; this is Your grace; this is Your mercy—found only at the foot of the cross. Amen.