Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Thief and The Amish Man

Yesterday, I shared the news about a friend, Sam, who lost almost all he owned when his home burnt to the ground.


As Sam stood amidst the thinning layers of smoke and surveyed the scorched metal and few surviving items strewn across the charred ground, an Amish gentleman came beside him. With a voice and expression lathered with empathy, the man, also a neighbor, offered to bring in a crew to clean up the damage. Knowing the complexities attached to such labor, Sam hesitated. He then asked the man to give him an estimate for the work so that he could present the bid to his insurance company.


With gentle firmness, the Amish man shook his head. “There will be no charge for the work. You are our neighbor…we want to help you.”


Rendered momentarily voiceless by the selfless gesture of his neighbor, Sam caught his breath, cleared his throat and thanked the kind man.


Later that day, another man came to Sam’s property…this man didn’t come to help…he came to steal. The thief was caught loading the last of Sam’s salvageable possessions into a truck.


Doesn’t that just extract the breath from your chest? It did mine. Knowing that someone could be so marred as to rob a man who had been sucker punched by devastation rocked my stomach with nausea.


After hearing the contrast between the two men who visited Sam’s effete property, I immediately thought about the piercing differences between our enemy and our Savior.


Like a thief, Satan holds no qualms about preying on the vulnerable. He cackles with delight when one’s defenses wobble…and then he attacks. He steals not with his hands, but with the lies of his tongue.


“You have nothing…you’re pitiful and worthless,” he says as he picks up fragments of joy and sticks them into his dark sack.


“No one wants you. You’ll always be mediocre…second-best…and that’s if you’re lucky…more likely than not, you’ll be a failure,” he shouts as he rips portions of peace from your limp grasp and shoves them with the slivers of stolen joy.


“Even God hates you,” he spits. “Think about it, you would never be in this mess if the Almighty loved you.” And with that most heinous lie he seizes hope, leaving his victim lying on the ground…ravaged…blanketed with cinders.


The enemy, a despicable swindler and a depraved deceiver, is the antithesis of Jesus, the Savior.


Jesus, the embodiment of love, does not delight in despair…He does not take from us when we are weak…He restores. He is the voice of truth.


“You are my beloved, and I will never leave you alone,” He whispers while opening his nail-scarred hand to offer you a love that begets joy.


“I faced scorn for you…bore bruises for you…spilled my blood for you…writhed in agony for you…and even though you question me, I am still and will always be on your side.” After those words are spoken, He lavishly furnishes your spirit with peace.


“You’re mind was not constructed to understand how deeply I hurt when you hurt, but please believe I do. I’m here now…in fact, I never left you precious one, and I will help you rebuild…please let me help you. For now you stand in an ash heap, but when I’m finished you will be surrounded by beauty.” And with that truth hope is restored.


When fire sweeps through your life, I pray that the attempts of thievery from the enemy will be thwarted so that a time of rebuilding resulting in splendor will occur.


Isaiah 61:2-4 (New Living Translation)

He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations.





38 comments:

Anne Elizabeth said...

I don't get to comment as often as I would like. I just had to today though. This was such an excellent post! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Angela,

This post was very powerful. I love how God shows you His truths in so many situations you face.

I am so sorry for your friend. And so glad to know that his Amish neighbor was so willing to help. What an encouragement!

Mel said...

Thank you for that word of encouragement as the tears flow.

Misty said...

i, too, am teary reading this post. i've believed the Liar too many times. i distrust the Lover too often.

Sabrina said...

This is a great post! Thank you for posting it.

Jennifer said...

Wow...what a powerful post!

I can't comprehend the nerve of the thief stealing a man last possessions and in today's society...it is hard for many to comprehend the heart of the Amish man. That is a shame that this is the world that we live in everyday. Where have the days gone that you extended a helping hand to your friends, neighbors, family and even, strangers out of the goodness of your heart and not for monetary gain. It used to be a way of life, now it is a rarity. What a shame!

The comparison between the actual men and Jesus Christ and the enemy of our souls is so powerful. I pray that each person reads this will see the profound truth in your post today. May God remove the blinders from our eyes so that we may see the enemy clearly.

Thank you again for a powerful post!

Merry Christmas!

Tabby @ ♥I Choose Bliss♥ said...

Very powerful post. God's light is always the truth.

Tara said...

Wow, that was very powerful and beautiful. Thank you for sharing and for your gift with words!

Kimberly said...

I hardly even know what to say, Angela. This post is so powerful. So powerful.

bp said...

Thank you for sharing.

angie said...

As always, the parallels you've drawn give me chills. I cannot believe that someone came to steal from him after already losing everything......thank goodness for the good neighbor......and for our Saviour!

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

Beautiful. Powerful.

Lori Anne said...

Wonderful post! So very well put.
Praying for Sam.

Krystal said...

Oh how I wish I could write and speak so beautifully like you!

My new song that I sing over and over in my head when Satan is feeding me lies is "The Voice of Truth". It is my song...

Thanks for the beautiful post and I will pray for your friend.

sister sheri said...

...When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

Gretchen said...

What an amazing devotional. But...I can't help it...I'm still mad at that thief. Forgive me, Father.

Nikowa said...

WOW VERY well stated.

Penny said...

Thanks for writing. You are truly a blessing.

angeljoy said...

Thanks for the encouragement!

Beth in NC said...

What a wonderful post! Just like the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy -- even when someone is already down. Argh.

Thank you for sharing such a powerful comparison.

Beth

Tawny and Kya said...

WOW! That is amazing insight. What an awesome reminder, thank you for the eye-opener. It is so amazing how quickly we tend to forget these simple lessons. I praise God for people like you whom He uses to remind us.

graceunbound said...

Wow. What a very powerful post. Praying for your friend Sam and for blessings to come from his good neighbors.

Irritable Mother said...

Seriously? Someone tried to steal what he had left???
You're right. Our enemy is just as ruthless and disgusting. Moreso.

I am so thankful for our Jesus!!!

Mocha with Linda said...

Check my blog! :-)

Aspiemom said...

This was a great entry, Angela. We used to live in Amish Country and I know how caring they can be. What a great comparison of the neighbor who wanted to help and the other man who only thought of himself!

Thanks for sharing!

Debra said...

What a profound contrast you have shown here today. It was powerful.

Blessings to you!

Julie said...

Hey friend, I LOVED this post...
As usual it touches a place inside me.

Thank you for your sweet words on my blog....

You are a gift to my heart..

Hugs,
Julie
PS. I might be in your town next week. My dad is having surgery next Thursday, the 18th at St. Mary's.

Julie said...

Hey friend, I LOVED this post...
As usual it touches a place inside me.

Thank you for your sweet words on my blog....

You are a gift to my heart..

Hugs,
Julie
PS. I might be in your town next week. My dad is having surgery next Thursday, the 18th at St. Mary's.

Karen said...

That was beautiful. Thank you. What a great analogy.

The Organic Nest said...

What a beautiful post. We are definitely praying for Sam. The thief came to steal, kill and destroy, but people so need to be reminded that Jesus came to give life and life ABUNDANT! Thank you for reminding all of us each day of His Abundant Love. ~Jenny

photomama said...

What a great post and a great reminder. I guess in situations like this we need to focus on the blessing from the amish man.

Gwendolyn said...

What a wonderful post! Count me amoung the teary-eyed.

Mariel said...

what a powerful post. Thank you for sharing this.

Sit A Spell said...

What an amazing post! That writing belongs in a book. I'm speechless...which is very odd for me : ) Well done good and faithful servant...
Bless...Shell

...I want to help Sam

Denise said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I am so glad I came. What a powerful picture of contrasts! Blessings to you!
Denise

Laura said...

so beautiful and thought-provoking, friend. you bring this epic struggle to life with the story of your friend who lost his home. so sad.

I offer my prayers...

jamie {rose cottage} said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for this.

runningtherace said...

Wow. Thank you as always for your perspective.

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