The little lamb was caught in the thicket.
The roar of a nearby lion had sent him scurrying, and in his fear he ran away from the Shepherd.
He ran blindly, not heeding the Shepherd's call, until the branches pressed close and blocked his path to safety. The thorns jabbed, piercing his tender skin, drawing blood that stained his white wool an ugly reddish-brown.
He cried out, willing the Shepherd to hear his feeble "Baa! Baa!"; but no help came.
He floundered a bit, trying to gain ground to move through the hedge that surrounded him; but the brambles held him tight.
He waited…too tired to continue struggling. His panting eased, and he rested in the midst of the brier.
He knew the Shepherd would come. He had no doubt. He trusted his Shepherd.
Within a few short moments darkness fell. At first the silence was frightening, but then the night creatures began to sing their nocturnal refrain, crickets and frogs in unison with the occasional melody of the whiporwill.
He stilled then, as he thought of his Shepherd, remembering nights of snuggling at His side within the safety of the sheepfold. He pushed his fears aside, for he knew his Shepherd would come.
The cold of the night began to penetrate his wooly coat, and he shivered in the gloom of the night.
He soon noticed the sounds of other beasts in the night: the bellow of a bear sounded loud in his ear. The howl of the wolves echoed eerily along the valley floor.
He trembled violently as he wondered what terrors this night held for him; but he calmed once again, as he thought of his Shepherd. The One who had led him to this place. The One who met his every need. The One who had killed many wild beasts that had threatened his flock.
No, he would not fear the darkness of this night, because he knew, beyond a doubt, his Shepherd was near. The Shepherd would come for him. The Shepherd would rescue him out of the blackness of this night. He trusted the Shepherd.
He squirmed a bit, seeking a small place of relief from the pain of the thorns, and settled himself into the heart of the hedge. He quieted himself and listened, not for the sound of wild beasts, nor to the howling winds that blew through the valley.
Calmly, while the darkness pressed in around him, he listened for the Voice of the one he knew best. He listened for the Voice of his Shepherd.