I have decided I must be a simple person….
I teach a preschool class at church and I am beginning to think the Lord has me there because he has so much to say to me…evidently the storybook bible is what I need in order to truly grasp the depth of God Love.
Yesterday’s lesson was on the lost sheep, the story can be found in Matthew 18:12 The Parable of the Lost Sheep: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?”
As I was reading my lesson I had the children bleat like sheep, and I pretended I was the shepherd and they were the sheep and they followed me around the room just like the lesson plan asked me to do….
Then, according to the teachers manual we were all suppose to come back to circle time and all the sheep were suppose to sit in a perfect circle and I was suppose to drive home the lesson on how we are so important to the shepherd that he will seek us until we are found.
Well, two of the sheep in my preschool class must have felt circle time was overrated because they went off to play in a different corner of the room. They had lost interest in me playing the part of the shepherd and the other sheep!
At first I thought I would just let them do their own thing and continue with my lesson with the submissive sheep that had obediently followed me. But, I just couldn’t blow off the two little monkeys, I mean sheep, that chose to go their own way and disobey me.
I just had to incorporate them into my group, after all I was just about to drive home how the shepherd loved his sheep so much that he had to go look for the lost sheep. It was a crucial point in my lesson… I just couldn’t let them miss it!
It was at that moment that I had the class bleat and I said “Oh no I am missing some sheep” so I told the good sheep to rest in the circle while I went off to find the lost sheep.
One of my “lost” sheep once found said she was sick, too sick to follow me so I explained that she was in the right place because the Shepherd is a healer…….once I got her back to the circle I went after the last lost lamb who by now was hiding under a table. I searched High and Low all the while thinking I couldn’t have scripted this any better had I tried. I finally got the lost sheep into the circle and I explained to the children how the good shepherd will hunt for all his lost sheep.
At that point I explained that Jesus was the shepherd and we were the sheep, I was able to explain how God loves us so much he doesn’t give up on us, just like when “Sally and Johnny” ran off and disobeyed and I brought them back to our group God will not give up on us and he too will bring us back to Him.
There was something impacting about going and finding the lost sheep and working through their excuses and faulty reasoning until finally in love and gentleness I was able to get them to submit and sit in circle time and be one of the sheep.
It really made me think of all the excuses I sometimes give God and all the “tables” I hide under before finally submitting to his gentle wooing and being obedient to his call.
The prize the children received for obedience and great listening and submitting themselves to circle time was a cup of goldfish crackers and apple juice. Can I just tell you that our Heavenly Father has a much better reward than goldfish and apple juice for us. He has eternal life for us, the sweet reward of submission and obedience is peace, joy and communion with Him. It is so worth it!
So what ever you are facing what ever faulty excuses you are making, I urge you to surrender and submit to the Good Shepherd. He Loves you enough to want you in his presence. His “circle time” is sweet and precious and so worth it!!
I can’t help but wonder what God is going to teach me through my little preschoolers next week!!