The Thieves

Monday, October 26, 2020
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The broccoli was looking wonderful as my daughter and I discussed whether to cut it then or to wait and harvest it the next afternoon when we would have time to blanche and freeze it. We decided to leave it until the next day.

The next morning, as I was walking down the driveway, I was horrified to see that not only the fence around the outside garden had been trampled down, but that the greenhouse door had been pulled off. Every single stock of broccoli was gone. Even the roots had been torn out. And what did I find in the greenhouse? Two absolutely rotten, thieving goats, calmly looking around and deciding what else they were going to devour, seeing as they had already gobbled up a number of cauliflowers and all the tops off the carrots. I was dumbfounded, as never have the goats done such a dastardly deed. The fence was high and well attached to posts, and the greenhouse door likewise. But obviously, the temptation of this year's extra-large and luscious vegetables enticed them to strike with a vengeance and break down all barricades.

Still fuming the next day due to the loss of our vegetables and all the love, work, and care that had gone into raising them, these Scripture verses came to mind:

Matthew 6:19-21 – Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)

So often, we work so hard on earthly projects, jobs, and the like, and we are proud of our accomplishments. Yet in the end, none of them really matter. We cannot take any of our achievements with us when this life is finished. We came into this world with nothing, and we shall leave it with nothing. And what we leave behind will one day all fade away as well. Yet, the Lord tells us that there are treasures that are worth storing up — spiritual treasures — love, hope, kindness, faith, trust, goodness, justice, mercy, and most importantly, the source of all these treasures, our relationship with Jesus Christ. These are spiritual treasures that cannot rust or fade away and thieves cannot break in and steal from us, for they are eternal and shall live on within those whose lives we have touched, long after we are gone.

So today, as we each go about our earthly chores and pathways, let us also remember to be cultivating and growing spiritual treasures — treasures that point us to the One who loves us with an everlasting love, the One in Whom our hearts reside and Whose heart resides in us. For where our treasure is, there also shall be our heart.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You have provided eternal treasures that are ours for the cultivating and receiving. May we seek first and foremost the storing up of these treasures, that we will not only be an eternal blessing to You but also to all those whom our lives touch. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks, Lynne. A good example of an important truth.

    Thanks, Lynne, for today’s devotion.
    I enjoyed it very much.

    Thanks for this message Lynne. Exactly what I needed to hear today.
    All the money, fame, houses etc., cannot take us to heaven.

    Hi Lynne
    We loved your goat story! It is wonderful how you are so gifted to bring a good message from God’s Word to challenge us. Thanks again.

    Dear Lynne,
    Another helpful and so true devotional. I am sorry for your loss but love your perspective. May you store many of the lasting treasures each and every day. Thank you.

    Oh Lynne, can you say “baaad goat, baaad goat” winking. Glad I never kept goats, especially not now. One neighborhood cat and my sweet dog are mischief enough for me. Thanks for the instructive devotional. Blessings.

    What a blessing those greedy goats are, providing such a perfect parable for your devotional today! Thank you… for your insight and sharing of these stories that we all may learn to look more closely at the small daily lessons He provides.

    Thank you for today’s devotional! My husband and I both thought.. oh looks like broccoli stuffed goat is on the menu! Sometimes it is difficult to remember that God also loves the animals! and so do we. My sympathies over the stolen veggies… but it did lead to a great devotional!

    Hi Lynne,
    This is such a great message, and one l ponder about at times. The work we do and what we reap is only transitory and fleeting during our time on earth – we need to find value and fulfillment in seeking the treasures of the Kingdom. And the naughty goats!

    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for another excellent devotional. I’m sure it was quite a shock to see all those vegetables uprooted and to see those mischievous characters doing it! Your words are so true that we shouldn’t worry about storing up things here on earth but focus on being faithful to our Lord and be kind to one another, thus storing eternal treasures for our future.
    Blessings for the meaningful writings you contribute.

    Hi Lynne,
    WELL, I shall remember this devotional when I survey the damage the deer have done to the roses and daylilies and whatever else they find delectable (Japanese eggplant is this year’s favorite) in our yard. We have a high fence around the yard by the house. One side of the yard is bordered by a creek. It has been dry recently and so over the creek they come. I am amazed at the ability of your goats to get into the greenhouse!
    Thank you for your devotional and its message.

    I don’t know anyone else who could turn such a disaster into a positive message.
    You are special.

    What an encouraging story. So many times, we have seen our beloved projects “go up in smoke” and yet we know we can’t take them with us anyway. We thank our loving Father for Jesus who is everlasting to everlasting.

    OH, DEAR!!!!!!
    What you wrote is so true about our “treasures” that are so important at the time, and yet in the long run as we look back, we understand that they are fleeting, as is life! That has happened to me as I get older and look back at photos, letters, or cards.
    I hope that those two “thieving little devils” have mended their way and back in your good graces, have been forgiven, and the area where they did such damage, in now repaired and stronger to hold off any future onslaught.
    I would feel the same way because gardens take effort, time, and much patience!
    To better days!

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