John 10:27 – The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. (AMP)
Millie, the lamb, began life in a most unusual way. Her mother, a frisky adventuresome ewe, somehow found her way into the straw mow — an area above the cattle stalls. The mow was covered with thick layers of straw, hiding the opening used to scoop the straw down into the cattle stalls below. The ewe was not aware of the hidden opening and came crashing down to her death.
The farmer saw it happen, and knowing she was about to lamb, quickly took a sharp knife from his pocket and performed a caesarean birth. With large callused hands, he gently lifted out the tiny long-legged creature. Wiping her clean with fresh straw and tucking her into his jacket, he hurried up to the farmhouse to the lamb's temporary home in the warm kitchen. The feeding of the little orphan became the task of the farmer's four-year-old son. As the lamb, who became known as Millie, greedily tugged at the teat affixed to a pop bottle, the little boy would tell her about the happenings of his day, or his problems (if a four-year-old in a greatly-loved family setting experienced such a situation), and Millie came to know his voice.
As time went by, the baby lamb became a healthy ewe, and whenever the boy stood at the back door of the farmhouse and called, "Millie-e-e", the ewe would come running just as fast as she could up the lane leading to the farmhouse to stand beside the young lad. She might have been grazing at the far edge of the farm. It did not matter. It just seemed as if she were always listening for his voice. Other family members would call, but she never responded to their voices.
Jesus said that His sheep are constantly listening to His voice. The late General Albert Orsborn, of the Salvation Army, in one of his hymns, suggests a further depth and dimension to just "listening": listening with a readiness to serve Him. Remembering that we are His hands and feet in our world, let us be willing to obey His requests with hearts full of love for Him. On the surface, we might consider this plan impossible! Regardless, let us endeavour to be consciously aware of His voice, with the attitude of adventure, the closeness of companionship with our Saviour, and the desire to be used in His service.
Prayer: Father, You gave us an excellent example of obedience in the life of Your Son, as He listened to and obeyed Your voice, even to death upon the cross of Calvary. It is doubtful that we shall ever be required to give our lives in answer to Your request. Regardless, may we give our small acts of service obediently, willingly, and joyfully. We ask Your help in this request, in the name of Your Son and our Saviour, Christ Jesus. Amen.