John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV)

I love the garden in my backyard. It is very inspirational to me. I have a large slope full of night-blooming jasmine that smells heavenly! There are sunflowers, tulips, irises, fruit trees, lots of hummingbirds, huge butterflies as big as small birds, and tons of wild birds (and sometimes a lovebird and parakeet) that come to the numerous bird feeders I have, and squirrels that come right up to me when I call them.

But one of my special treasures is my pond! Last year, my oldest son, Paul volunteered to dig a hole and put in a pond for me. I was thrilled. He completed the pond and we put plants all around it and put in some goldfish and a turtle. They were so fun to watch!

But one day in October, a sad thing happened. I went out to feed the fish and turtle, but found all the rocks around the pond thrown down in the pond and the water half out, and all the fish and the turtle were gone!

I was so sad and wondered what kind of animal did that: maybe a cat, raccoon, an opossum? I decided not to fill up the pond; I left it, since winter was coming.

After this happened, God drew to my attention the first part of today's scripture verse, and I sensed that it is the devil who "comes to steal, and kill and destroy". I thought, "Now, isn't that true?" Something certainly did that to my animals! I believe this was also a warning in my own personal life because at that time, the enemy was definitely warring at my soul. So I learned to become very careful and walk with God very closely and obey everything He told me. It paid off.

Now, this spring, I was out in my garden and looked at the pond and thought that it would be nice to fill it up again. I thought I would only get some goldfish this time, since turtles are kind of expensive.

The new pond was even better than the first one, and I redecorated the area. It looked so nice. The day I was going to buy the fish, I decided to water in the morning. (Usually I do it in the afternoon.) I figured the ground would get well saturated and my flowers would bloom even better. I came out later just to look around, and as I was looking, I heard a noise in the bushes. I went over to look and what did I see?

Mr. Turtle! Mr. Turtle was back! Wow! I just laughed so hard! Here I thought he was gone, but most likely he had just climbed out when the rocks were pushed into the pond and went and hibernated! Was I tickled! And look, I had just made a new pond and it was all filled up and ready to go!

Can anyone guess the spiritual message in this? Here is what God told me.

Many of us think that the devil has killed, stolen, or destroyed the promises and dreams that God had given us because they have not come true yet. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Just like Mr. Turtle was only in hibernation and came back, so too will our dreams, talents, gifts, anointing, and other God-given powers that He has given us. The devil did not destroy them; they may only be in hibernation!

God has come, and comes again, to give us life!

Prayer: O God, turn around our situations and give us a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit. We ask this in the precious and holy name of Jesus. Amen.

About the author:

Tracy Sunshine
Sylmar, California, USA

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