One of our favorite summer treats is a BLT with a fresh tomato from our garden. Nothing beats the taste of a freshly picked, vine-ripened tomato slice on a BLT or grilled hamburger. This year we planted beefsteak tomatoes for just that reason.
Anticipating that sandwich, we watched them grow. The green slowly turned yellow, then orange as they started to ripen. In another day or so, they would be ripe for the pickin', and we'd be eating good.
But we couldn't enjoy that first ripe tomato, the second, or the third one! Some varmint got to them first, taking a few bites and dropping them on the ground. Anticipation turned to disappointment as each tomato was ruined. The hope of that sandwich slowly disappeared with each uneatable tomato.
John 10:10 tells us that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy our promised abundant life. Good tomatoes are part of the abundant life I expect!
Disappointment, if not handled correctly, can lead to anxiety, worry, and fear. What am I going to do now; what am I doing wrong; what if this happens again? If you stay on this merry-go-round, you have no energy left in your heart or mind for peace or joy.
So get off the ride and apply Philippians 4:6-7 to your situation.
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6 AMPC Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
The Biggest Thief
Ignorance is the biggest thief of all. Not knowing who you are and whose you are leaves the door wide open for the thief to come in and steal your joy. But he doesn't just steal your joy. he grabs for your peace, health, wealth, and everything that makes life enjoyable.
Philippians 4:7 AMPC And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
No matter what is happening, you can be sure of Christ's salvation. When you know, deep down in your knower, that you are a child of God, you can have peace in any situation. And that peace will protect your joy.
Pulpit Commentary on John 10:9: "Go in and out" is a phrase frequently used to denote the free use of an abode by one who is at home in the house." Jesus has opened the door and invites you to come on in and make yourself at home. John 15 tells us we abide in Jesus and He abides in us so His joy will remain in us and our joy will be full.
Pasture means growth and increase. Psalm 23 explains the joy of abiding in the pasture with Jesus as our shepherd.
Ps. 23 MSG
The more we understand what God has done for us, the less the thief is able to steal. He has made us kings and priests, adopted us as His children, and given us everything we need to enjoy life in abundance. It is up to us to step into that house and get comfortable. Do let anyone or thing tell you that you don't belong there.
And if by chance, the thief does get in and steals from you, Proverbs 6:31 says He will have to repay you sevenfold for what he stole. That is a lot of joy!
That is going to be a lot of tomatoes!
We haven't figured out how to stop our tomato thief yet. We've tried various remedies but finally started picking them and letting them ripen on the porch. We are finally enjoying our first BLT's tonight. Not vine ripened tomatoes, but still better than store bought! Has anyone else had this problem? What has worked for you? I'd love some ideas.
FREE printable: Personalized Psalms 23 declaration. https://jodelights.com/products/psalm-23-comfort-decree
When we decree the Word of God, we are releasing it in faith and confidence in what God has spoken. These declarations are from the Bible and personalized for you to read. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, so read them out loud and build your faith in these truths.