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I love Phillip Keller’s details about a “cast-down” sheep and what the shepherd does to get him back on his feet. “When sheep lay on their back, gas begins to collect in their stomach. It hardens the stomach, cuts off the air passage and they suffocate. Not only that, their legs go numb in that position. They need a shepherd to restore them. When a shepherd restores a cast down sheep, it doesn’t just happen immediately. It takes time. The shepherd lovingly massages the four legs to get some circulation back. Then he begins to talk in a reassuring tone to the sheep, "You’re going to make it." Then he gently turns the sheep over and lifts it up because it cannot stand up on its own. He’ll hold the animal there while the sheep begins to get some equilibrium. The blood begins to flow in the legs again and it begins to get some stability. When the shepherd is sure that the sheep can stand on its own, then the shepherd will lovingly have the sheep follow him home.”

What a picture! When you’re on your back and the emotional pain of guilt, grief or grudges are overwhelming you, will you remember that the Lord is your Shepherd? He lovingly comes with tender hands and reassuring words, picks us up and sets us up straight until we can get on our feet again and then says, “Okay, now follow Me home."

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