It has happened once again….the miracle of new life.
Last October I put the ram in for one month and then 5 months later I start to look for lambs… New life. I marvel each time those new lambs hit the ground. This year I was particularly concerned since 6 of my ewes are first time mothers. I worry about what that will be like for them. I have spent since April 1 worrying and waiting . My first two ewes to lamb were 2 of the first time mothers. On Friday afternoon one had twin rams and the next morning the other had twin girls… Right on time. April 7 was the due date so to get the first ones within 12 hours of midnight April 7 feels like a miracle. New life IS always a miracle. How it happens is a mystery. You don’t see conception occur, you can’t see development happen, with ewes you don’t even do a pregnancy check, so it is all by faith…. Then when your faith is rewarded with a new flock of lambs…. Amazing!
I await the remaining 22 ewes to lamb in the next month… Each birth is a miracle.
There are certain special times in life both physically and spiritually. One of those exciting and yet tense times surrounds new births. It is lambing time.
The last three weeks of pregnancy and then the first month after birth are vulnerable times.With 24 bred ewes I am currently in that vulnerable time when missing a problem can be the loss of the ewe and her lamb(s) with her. There requires daily checking of the flock and special attention to how each ewe is doing.
There is extra feeding that is required as well. I am lucky with my flock that there are partners that all help so any one of us only checks twice a week.
The second ewe to lamb with her twins. Others waiting for the big day!
It reminds me of the importance of taking care( shepherding ) in the church of new births right before someone becomes a Christian and right after…. These are the vulnerable times. As shepherds we need to pay special attention to these times and the individual needs. I always remind people I study with that Satan works the hardest on us right before we become X and right after. There are three needs that strike me as important to address.
Just like my ewes need specific nutrition the last few weeks of pregnancy, so do those studying the bible. They need specific food from God.
This idea highlights the importance of each Christian being equipped to study the Bible with people and being ” a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” ( 2 Timothy 2:15). The main challenge that Jesus gave Peter after the resurrection was to ” feed my sheep” . We should all be looking for ways to nourish the young in the faith…. and the old too!!. My older ewes need extra nutrition too!
Wise eyes to watch for snares:
Looking for any signs of that might mean ewes and lambs are in distress, I watch for pneumonia, digestive issues, or just ” not looking right”.
It is important to walk with new Christians just to help all adjust to a new way of life. That does not mean to control or restrict, but it does mean to watch for the ways that problems can interfere with thriving growth.
Protection from predators:
Satan is looking to take advantage of all of us, but he especially preys on the young or weak. “Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him standing firm in the faith , because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering. (1Peter 5:8)
Young Christians need friends that will walk with them and help protect. My guard dogs go into hyper drive at lambing time. They make sure the lambs stay with their moms, and they keep watch. Coyotes are a real issue for my flock, so I am grateful that Angel and Kahru are there to protect the entire flock. They are on particular high alert as we begin lambing… The vulnerable time.
Angel with a lamb