Well, now I know that ducks can't count

Last week, walking by the mill pond, I watched a duck gathering her ducklings together. She glided out from the bank as I approached, quacking softly until they responded and then led them to a safer distance. It was just as though she had carefully counted heads to make sure none were missing, for all the world like a teacher on a school trip.


A few days ago, out on the river, two little ducklings were scurrying around on the pool below the weir, cheeping frantically. I watched for a while as, not without a struggle, they made their way up the edge of the weir (not much water coming down, fortunately, as it’s been so dry recently) and finally reached the river again. Then they set off upstream, still cheeping. A couple of wagtails skimmed close over their heads, the gusty wind blew them backwards at times, but they battled on. There were several pairs of mallards on the river; the first pair the ducklings approached drove them away, so they kept going. Eventually they reached a duck with half a dozen ducklings – and they were back, it seemed, with their family. Not that any notice was taken of them; no welcome was given, but at least they weren’t sent away. Mother Duck had not been looking out for them and she certainly hadn’t been searching for them!

How thankful I am that the Saviour did not leave it to us to find Him! Had He done so, I would never have come. Had He done so, none of us would ever have been saved.

So He spoke this parable to them, saying, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”     ( Luke 15:3-7

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.  (Matthew 18:11) 

I have a Friend whose faithful love

Is more than all the world to me

Tis higher than the heights above,

And deeper than the soundless sea;

So old, so new, so strong, so true;

Before the earth received its frame,

He loved me – Blessèd be His Name!


He held the highest place above,

Adored by all the sons of flame,

Yet, such His self-denying love,

He laid aside His crown and came

To seek the lost, and, at the cost

Of heavenly rank and earthly fame,

He sought me – Blessèd be His Name!


It was a lonely path He trod,

From every human soul apart,

Known only to Himself and God

Was all the grief that filled His heart:

Yet from the track He turned not back

Till where I lay in want and shame

He found me - Blessèd be His Name!


Then dawned at last that day of dread

When, desolate but undismayed,

With wearied frame and thorn-crowned head

He, now forsaken and betrayed,

Went up for me to Calvary,

And dying there in grief and shame

He saved me – Blessèd be His Name!


Long as I live my song shall tell

The wonders of His matchless love:

And when at last I rise to dwell

In the bright home prepared above,

My joy shall be His face to see,

And bowing then with loud acclaim,

I’ll praise Him – Blessèd be His Name!


C A Tydeman