Friday, May 13, 2011

What’s Been Stolen?

Recently someone was at our house and twice, while they were here, they looked over the hills, through the oaks, and down the valley (standing somewhat close to where this picture was taken last January) and said something to the effect of, “It’s so beautiful!” Once they added, “It’s so peaceful! I’ve looked all my life for a place like this!”

When they said that I was rattled. I realized that the same view they saw as beautiful was, too often to me, a sea of “to do” items—broken fence wiring going back to when a neighbor’s runaway bison crashed through it, a broken gate a neighbor’s bull smashed, weeds that needed mowing with fire season knocking on our door, ground squirrels that needed controlling, a dam that needed fixing, firewood that needed hauling and cutting and splitting, a well that needed electrical work . . . all that and more, and, it felt like, limited time and money to do any of it. Amazing . . . we were looking at the same view, and yet the viewpoint was so different!

Many times Mary Ann and I have said, and had to remind ourselves when we get drug down by things undone, “If we had visited this place before we owned it, we’d have said that if we ever had a place like this we’d be happy for the rest of our lives there!” It is a two-fold reminder:

1) No thing, or accomplishment, or position will ever make you or me permanently happy. Only God can do that.

2) The enemy seeks to always take what is good and steal it, and if we aren’t careful, we let him. Too often, if we aren't careful, we can start to primarily see the negative side of things. Granted, in the case like our property, I am the one who has to deal with those things and they don’t, but there is still tremendous good and blessing in it (it is a gift from God!) and if I am not careful I can miss, or lose that. Philippians 4:8 tells us, “. . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Other translations say to "meditate" on these things, and I believe to meditate on it we, ourselves, must first see it. That is something we must practice because, all too often, it doesn’t come naturally.

So . . . take a look around you. What blessings from God—maybe a person, or persons; a job; a home; a situation; your body; your imperfect church; or ???—have you either taken for granted, or started to see only the negative in, or allowed to be stolen from your thoughts? I encourage you to refresh and renew your gratitude for it, and lift a praise and a thanks to God, from Whom every good and perfect gift comes (James 1:17).

Wishing you intimacy and joy in the Lord,


  1. Thank you Pastor Erick! Awesome reminder. I know I often get caught up in all the things that need to be done and don't see the beauty in what I'm doing, the joy I should have in doing it, and thanking God for it. Please tell your "girls" hi from me!

    ~ Kierstyn

  2. Thanks, Kierstyn! I know it was a reminder I sure needed. I'll give the girls your love. I hope we can all see each other again, soon! Please send our hugs to the family.

  3. This is so true Erick; we have to remember to count our blessings. It is so easy to focus on the wrong things in our lives, what we don't have, and what we have not done; but we have to see things thru the eyes of Jesus to appreaciate all that he is doing in and thru us. Thanks for sharing.

    Concerning my post; "Are you Free" is my lastest post, but I think blogger crashed on Thursday and deleted all posts from Thursday morning and onward; it must have messed up the dates. Hope you have all your posts saved on a hard drive somewhere, because the blogger system apaprently can not be trusted:)

  4. Amen, Toyin! As always, thanks for your wonderful blog. It is one of the most uplifting things I read.

  5. There was an exciting comment to this post which was sent to me as an email. I put it under "A Wonderful Story" by mistake, but it is well worth reading and being encouraged by. "A Wonderful Story" also has, in the body of the post, a different account of someone who was blessed and changed by this post. Thanks so much, all, for the feedback. It really encourages me!


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