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8.1.2020 – This goes out to the “Black Sheep”

This morning as I was sitting here, I thought of the term,

black sheep.”

This term means,

“a member of a family or group who is regarded as a disgrace to them.”

“In the English language, black sheep is an idiom used to describe an odd or disreputable member of a group, especially within a family. The term stems from sheep whose fleece is colored black rather than the more common white; these sheep stand out in the flock and their wool was traditionally considered less valuable.

According to Wikipedia,

“The term originated from the occasional black sheep which are born into a flock of white sheep. Black wool was considered commercially undesirable because it could not be dyed. In 18th and 19th century England, the black color of the sheep was seen as the mark of the devil. In modern usage, the expression has lost some of its negative connotations, though the term is usually given to the member of a group who has certain characteristics or lack thereof deemed undesirable by that group.

It can mean, “outcast. prodigal. reject.”

When I think of the term, “black sheep”, I think of a “people” who feel as though they are the outcast, the reject, the weak one, the undesired one, the “obviously unwanted” one, a “burden” of the group, of the family, of the church, of friends and peers, of society…

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever felt like “the black sheep”? Do you feel like you are the “black sheep” of the group? Of the family?

For a lot of my life I felt like a “black sheep”…

Whether you’re really being treated and seen as a “black sheep” right now in this season of your life, or whether you’ve felt that way in the past and still feel as though you have been “marked” as the “black sheep” and it’s turned into a mindset and “identity”… I feel like this is the Lord’s response to those who feel like “the black sheep”…

This is His heart…

In response, Jesus gave them this illustration:

4–5 There once was a shepherd with a hundred lambs, but one of his lambs wandered away and was lost. So the shepherd left the ninety-nine lambs out in the open field and searched in the wilderness for that one lost lamb. He didn’t stop until he finally found it. With exuberant joy he raised it up and placed it on his shoulders, carrying it back with cheerful delight! Returning home, he called all his friends and neighbors together and said, ‘Let’s have a party! Come and celebrate with me the return of my lost lamb. It wandered away, but I found it and brought it home.’”

Jesus continued, “In the same way, there will be a glorious celebration in heaven over the rescue of one lost sinner who repents, comes back home, and returns to the fold—more so than for all the righteous people who never strayed away.” —Luke 15:3-7 TPT

This is how He feels about you. ? This is how He sees you.

You may feel like the odd one out, you may feel rejected and unwanted by the others, you may feel like a sore thumb, despised, and it may even drive you away from your place in the group, and you may even try to run away… and maybe you have done some things wrong and made some mistakes….

“Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you‘”—Genesis 3:9

But Jesus says, that you are so valuable to Him, that He would notice if you’re not in your place, He would notice if you’re not with the rest of the group. And no matter what you’ve done… no matter the mistakes you have made… He wants you home with Him, and He’s ready to search and chase after you to bring you back home.

Even if the other sheep are cruel or insensitive and would rather you just go on and do your own thing alone… the Good Shepherd leaves the rest of the group to go and find you, and rescue you, and to bring you back home. Even if all of the rest of the group, society, your peers, your family—deem you an embarrassment or a disgrace, maybe they really do reject you, maybe it’s not just all in your head…. He wants you to know that you are special in His sight, you are valuable to Him, you are important to Him, and you are wanted, cherished and loved by Almighty God.

And He celebrates your return. ?☀️ He wants you there with the rest of the family. He wants to carry you back home, and bring you in, and show you what you mean to Him, and the good things He has created you for!

Perhaps He created you different from the rest so that you would stand out…for a reason and for His purpose? ✨

Thank You, Jesus…. for valuing even the “least” …. the “unwanted” of society, the “least valued” among the group. These ones are so dear to You, that You make a point to show us that You’d leave the rest of the group just to find “the one” and bring them back home with You, where they belong. ?

You create many of us to be a little different than the rest…and sometimes we go through pain because of that… sometimes we rebel because of that… but then You show us how much we each mean to You—You go and find us when we try to hide or run away…and then You teach us how to use our struggle and the pain and rejection that we’ve faced, in Your beautiful story. And it’s so perfectly and precisely the way You designed it in Your heart to be. ?

Thank You, Father. ?

-Heather ?

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