things aren't always as they appear


When was the last time you judged something or someone and found out you were wrong? Anytime I am guilty of this, it is too often.

Recently (around the 4th of July) my husband and I were driving out to my sister's house which is about a thirty or forty minute drive from the city. We passed a house that I have driven by many times before and had really never noticed. Since I was in the market for "Americana" pictures, I noticed this small, white-framed house with an American flag. It took my eye--it was so simple--and the flag just seemed to jump out at me. I asked my husband to stop so I could take a picture.

He stopped and I hopped out of the car and took the first picture. I remember thinking something like, "Oh, this precious little house where some precious people live--I know they care about their place--it is nice and neat--they are proud and patriotic with the flag and all." And my mind continued, "But, only a few small bushes on the side--I wish they had some more landscaping--it really would add to their little house and it would give them something beautiful to look at down here in the flatlands of Arkansas where soybeans and rice farms are in abundance.



These silos were right across the road from the house.

Then I walked several feet to my left to get another angle of the house and I thought I caught a peek of something.


Curiously, I walked a few more steps.........


and a few more.....................................


and caught a glimpse of this...............


some of the most beautiful, natural landscaping I've ever seen--God's cypress swamps! This is only fifty feet or so behind the little house, but it is not visible from the road.

Boy, had I ever misjudged what they get to view each day.

It made me stop and think of how many times we misjudge situations or people in our lives. We might be shocked to know what lies just below the surface or a little beyond our present view.

This week, Lord, give us eyes to see beneath the surface--to search a little deeper each person and situation we come in contact with, knowing it is You who supplies the real treasures, you who cultivates the landscaping of our souls to make them beautiful for someone else to behold. Lord, forgive us all the times we have passed a cypress swamp never knowing it was just steps away and give us Your wisdom and Your understanding so that we may recognize the true gifts when we do see them.

He longs to fill our homes, our lives, our souls with rare and beautiful treasures.

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;

through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures. Psalm 24:3,4

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7a