I’ve been following the pregnancy and labor of Kelly the sheep through the Ballerina Farm Instagram account (@ballerinafarm). What a wild ride! The sheep was near labor and having trouble with keeping her insides inside (vaginal wall prolapse). After an emergency visit to the vet, they found out she wasn’t exactly in labor, and he stitched her up so that everything that was supposed to stay inside would. Another worried visit to the vet revealed she was still not in true labor. Then just this morning, I watched the riveting footage of the sheep giving birth! The suture was untied, and the first beautiful white lamb was born without complication. The mama dutifully licked her baby clean and then a short while later, baby number two decided to join the party! This little lamb was jet black with some lovely white patches on its head. Adorable.
So, Mama Kelly began patiently grooming baby number two. But hold on, this ride’s not over! Even before lamb number two was cleaned up, another sibling decided to come onto the scene, and little lamb number three emerged – one more baby, black and slippery, the biggest of them all. Perhaps that is why her labor was so prolonged and difficult! There were three little lambs growing inside her with a weight so intense that her body could barely manage it. With much labor, many blessings. Long suffering in labor bore much reward.
Obviously, the story already had incredible spiritual significance to me. Then another event piqued my spiritual interest. While still in the afterglow of the lambs being born, I read a message on our extended family Facebook page. An aunt requested prayer for her son whose health has been failing and for an additional situation that was being met with opposition from every side. Another aunt replied that as she was praying last night for healing for those in our family a phrase that came up was "sudden healing. . . restoration. . . deliverance," and that "things would be made right!” Yes, LORD!
I began to weep tears of joy, sorrow, exhaustion, and hope. Last night I was interceding in prayer for several friends who all seem to be combatting consistent attacks of the enemy. It’s so laborious to keep our trials in perspective sometimes. Life is definitely hard. In the midst of our pain, it can take mammoth amounts of effort to see outside ourselves, focus on Jesus, and take in the bigger picture. What is the bigger picture, you ask? It is a battle in the heavenlies as Jesus Christ is reconciling the world back unto Himself, snatching us from the snares of our enemy and the grip of death and pain.
Now this I know: the Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Psalm 20:6
Why did I weep? I wept because I feel the struggle, and I feel the pain, and I am so tender to the trials of those around me. I cried out to God. Oh LORD, let it be – sudden healing, restoration, deliverance, and won’t you please make things right! This seems like a long labor, LORD. This labor is hard. It feels so long in coming and the pain is difficult to bear.
My thoughts quickly drifted back to the three lambs at Ballerina Farms and the truths of the old hymn: “To added affliction, He addeth His mercy, to multiplied trials His multiplied peace.” Isn't it interesting that all of the issues referenced also harken to the season of lent we are in? In less than two weeks we will celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. He was born in adversity, and He lives now in triumph. Dear LORD God Almighty, DELIVER us from evil. Let not our labor be in vain and grant us victory!
Resources and References:
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NIVUK)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] the old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Corinthians 15:55-58 (NIVUK)
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength when the labors increase; To added afflictions He addeth His mercy, To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed ere the day is half done, When we reach the end of our hoarded resources Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision, Our God ever yearns His resources to share; Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.