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The Thorn
By Gayle Moody©

The little sheep was stumbling now. Funny. He hadn't considered this might be a possible outcome. Everyone he had visited about his predicament had made a valiant effort to help. But they had been unsuccessful. Nothing had relieved the pain.

Only he had been learning to live with it.

He had been able to pretend for hours at a time that everything was as it had always been. He could see himself gamboling in the broad, green pastures and trotting here and there among the bushes and brambles. Until that day.

He wasn't quite sure how it had happened. Suddenly, there was pain in place of hisself-assured well-being. He tried to walk it off, but it continued to bother him. By the time he realized he needed help, the disability was obvious. His friends had begun to notice, even though he tried to hide it, and they all had their own special remedies. "Works all the time!" they said.

But it didn't work for him.

No. His friends could keep their solutions. He was going to find the one who had always solved his problems before. He remembered the time he had been caught in he brambles and the shepherd had gently plucked each sticker from his ears. Why, the shepherd had even found him that day when he fell into the gully far from the rest of the herd! Yes, the shepherd could do anything.

It was a painful distance to the shepherd's side, but when he nuzzled in next to this gentle man, he knew everything would be okay. The shepherd tenderly touched his head and that was so reassuring. But, nothing was being done to fix the pain.

Maybe the shepherd didn't understand. Surely, his stumbling was obvious. He called out in a weak bleat, fully expecting the shepherd's immediate attention. Surely, this one whom he trusted would handle the awful ache and set him on his feet again. The shepherd reached out and, again, he felt the loving touch of his friend, encouraging and comforting him.

Why didn't he feel better? Why had nothing changed? But at that instant, he looked into the shepherd's eyes and saw his own pain reflected there. He saw incredible love mingled with grief as he felt himself being lifted into the shepherd's arms.

Did it still hurt? He wasn't sure. He only knew that being with the shepherd was all that he needed. And he was filled with sweet contentment.

"And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

Copyright ©Gayle K. Moody. All rights reserved. Do Not Copy.
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