WEARIED, TORN & HALF EXPIRING SHEEP
The poor sheep has gone astray—and having once left the fold, it is pretty sure to have gotten into some strange place or other. It has fallen down a rock—or has rolled into a ditch—or is hidden beneath a bush—or has crept into a cave—or is lying in some deep, distant ravine, where none but an experienced eye and hand can find it out.
Just so with the Lord’s lost sheep. They get into strange places. They fall off rocks—slip into holes—hide among the bushes—and sometimes creep off to die in caverns. When the sheep has gone astray, the shepherd goes after it to find it. Here he sees a footprint—there a little lock of wool torn off by the thorns. Every nook he searches—into every corner he looks—until at last he finds the poor sheep wearied, torn and half expiring, with scarcely strength enough to groan forth its misery. The shepherd does not beat it home, nor thrust the goad into its back—but he gently takes it up, lays it upon his shoulder, and brings it home rejoicing. Hallelujah!