Sometimes, God uses the humble sheep to teach me a much-needed lesson.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.Isaiah 40:11 NLT
“Remember,” the border agent told me, “you have exactly five days to go through the Sweetgrass border crossing. In addition, while traveling through our country, you may only stop at hotels, restaurants, and petrol stations on the highways. Do not go into our communities.”
“Yes, sir,” I replied. Driving home by myself from Alaska during a pandemic didn’t sound as fun as previous years’ trips. Could I make it through Canada in five days driving solo? And would I see any wildlife along the way?
Three days and sixteen bears later, I had a partial answer to my question. I had stopped repeatedly to photograph bears (a nice, stay-in-the-car activity perfect for COVID restrictions). If I wanted to exit Canada in five days, I would have to drive over 20 hours in the next day and a half.
I felt weary. And lonely. I stopped for a pizza near Muncho Lake and decided to keep driving. Maybe I could make it to Fort Nelson before midnight.
As I drove up the narrow road leading out of the park, movement caught my eye. I pulled off the road, rolled down my window, and grabbed my camera. A small group of Stone’s sheep ewes and lambs scrambled along a cliffside.
A Reminder from the Elusive Stone’s Sheep
Elated at my unexpected opportunity, I shot as many photos as I could in the waning light. Stone’s sheep (sometimes called Stone sheep), a thin horn sheep closely related to Dall sheep, only reside in the southern part of the Yukon Territory and the northern part of British Columbia.
Although they almost look the same as their cousin’s the Dall sheep, Stone’s sheep have darker fur and are slightly larger in size. Like other sheep, Stone’s sheep hang out mostly in segregated flocks.
Stone’s sheep ewes must stay vigilant to avoid bears, wolverines, golden eagles, and wolves. The ewes with young often graze together and act as babysitters for each other. They spend their lives in perilous places, where rockfalls and avalanches threaten their safety and lives.
I had grown weary of the constant vigilance dealing with COVID had imposed on my life. Stone’s sheep must also grow weary of constant vigilance to ensure their survival.
I thought back to my days as a young mother, and how exhausted I felt after hanging out with toddlers all day long. Stone’s sheep probably feel the same way—yet their Creator built a babysitting system into their DNA.
How much more could I claim the promise of Isaiah 40:11. My Shepherd-Creator had provided opportunities for soul-restoration as I sped my way through Canada.
He reminded me of his goodness each time I stopped to photograph wildlife. I may travel alone, but I need never feel lonely.
How does God remind you of his goodness and bring comfort to your weary soul?