Last night I was reading that passage about Jesus asking Peter, “Do you love me?” and when Peter says yes, Jesus says, “Then feed my lambs.”
Oswald Chambers writes about how those two things go together. Loving Jesus needs to result in feeding His lambs. It is not enough to sit around basking in the love of our relationship with Jesus. There are definitely times when basking is appropriate, but we need to also take it out and do something with it.
Sometimes I can feel very “spiritual” when I’m alone with God, praying and reading my Bible. Such great times can come from spending time in the presence of God.
But then I go out among people, and… it can kind of fall apart, sometimes. Lots of times. It’s harder to have the right attitude, and to keep my tongue under control, and to respond to difficult situations in a godly way when I’m with people. Unexpected things come up and sometimes I surprise myself with my responses.
I like those alone times with God, when I can feel fed and “full”. But I read once that it’s really easy for Christians to become “spiritually overweight” – feasting on all the good stuff without getting out into the world. It’s not meant for us just to take in and take in and take in, without giving.
Want to know my excuses for not giving more? (They’re quite lame.)
I often feel like living at camp keeps me from feeding some of Jesus’ lambs. We’re so far away from everything. I’m not out there rubbing shoulders with all the lost lambs of the world. And yet there are 18 people living out here all winter. We’re in a very spiritual bubble out here, but people still need love and care, even if they already know Jesus. So, 18 lambs out here. As I write that, I wonder why I think I need to be in contact with more people than that.
I also feel sometimes like Ben is the one with the job that brings him in contact with people, while I sit at home and spend my day taking care of our girls and doing housework. That’s actually what I was praying about last night after reading the sheep verses. I was asking God, “How am I supposed to feed your lambs? I’m a stay-at-home mom. What do you have for me to do?” I was thinking very much in a “I need to be out in the world” kind of a way.
And suddenly, the thought that popped into my head was, “Our girls are my lambs.” Just the two of them, with me, all day, every day. Two little lambs. That’s such a small number, and yet such a huge job! I will teach them every day, for many years, and I will be the one that will have the biggest influence on their lives for a long time. Ben is such a great dad, but he can’t spend anywhere near the same amount of time with them that I can. How will I feed them spiritually? As they watch me live my life, what lessons will they take with them as they become adults?
And I’m thinking I need more lambs?! We’ll start with what we’ve got, and as I’m faithful with what God’s given me, maybe He’ll choose to give me more as time goes on. But I don’t need a big “flock” to feel like I’m accomplishing things! Quality over quantity. This is the thought that I’m keeping in mind as I spend time at home with my little lambs.
So what about you – what kind of lambs has God given you to feed?