The beautiful parable that Christ gave of the one lost sheep, of the shepherd that left the ninety and nine to go in search of that which was lost, illustrates the care of the great Shepherd.
He did not look carelessly over the sheep of the fold, and say, “I have ninety and nine, and it will cost me too much trouble to go in search of the straying one; let him come back, and I will open the door of the sheepfold and let him in, but I cannot go after him.” No… He counts and recounts the flock, and when he is certain that one sheep is lost, he leaves the ninety and nine within the fold; however dark the night, however perilous and unpleasant the way, however long and tedious the search, he does not weary, he does not falter, until the lost sheep is found.
But when it is found, does he act indifferently? Does he call the sheep, and command the straying one to follow him? Does he threaten and beat it, or drive it before him, recounting the bitterness and anxiety that he felt on its account? No; he lays the weary, exhausted, wandering sheep on his shoulder, and … returns it to the fold.
The shepherd’s gratitude finds expression in melodious songs of rejoicing, and heavenly choirs respond to the shepherd’s note of joy…
For “joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.”
Just as a shepherd of the earth knows his sheep, so does the God know His flock that is scattered throughout the whole world…
“And ye, my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God” (Ezekiel 34:31).
However low, however, elevated we may be, whether we are going through adversity or in the sunshine of prosperity, we are God’s sheep, the flock of His pasture, and under the care of the chief Shepherd.