The Sheep With a Broken leg
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."1
Robert Munger writes about an American traveling in Syria who became acquainted with a shepherd. Each morning he noticed the shepherd taking food to a sheep that had a broken leg. As he looked at the animal, he asked the shepherd, "How did the sheep break its leg? Did it meet with an accident, fall into a hole, or did some animal break its leg?"
"No," said the shepherd, "I broke this sheep's leg myself."
"You broke it yourself?" queried the surprised traveler.
"Yes, you see, this is a wayward sheep; it would not stay with the flock, but would lead the sheep astray. Then it would not let me near it so I had to break the sheep's leg so that it would allow me, day by day to feed it. In doing this it will get to know me as its shepherd, trust me as its guide, and keep with the flock."2
Sometimes, just sometimes, when we insist of going our own stubborn way and leading others astray, the Shepherd of the fold, may have to "break our leg" too for our own good and that of others.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the good sense to not only know what is the right thing to do but the courage to do it, so that I won't need to experience painful discipline. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV).
2. Robert Boyd Munger in Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations by Paul Lee Tan.