I had a pretty good childhood.
From the time my parents brought me home from the hospital shortly after my birth to the moment I married my husband, I called “Parson’s Patch” home. My father was a Baptist minister so we lived in the church parsonage on a one-acre plot of land deeded to the church by the family who owned the farm that surrounded us.
Acres and acres of land. Fields and woods hemmed in on one side by a main thoroughfare heavily traveled and on the other by a small country road that didn’t get enough traffic to justify painted lines.
Ponds. Streams. Wildlife. Trees and rolling fields fenced in with hundreds of wooden posts and miles and miles of rolled steel wire to mark the boundary lines.
When the farm changed hands we were elated to have neighbors with children the same age as my sister and I. We became fast friends and the fields and woods were like a second home to us. We had at our disposal enough “scope for the imagination,” (to use a phrase from one of my favorite fictional characters, Anne of Green Gables), to keep us entertained for hours.
I’m almost positive we explored every inch of those woods and fields by the time we were teenagers.
We built forts in densely grown thicket and brush, occasionally suffering the pricks of thorns that couldn’t be seen until after we started building. We walked barefoot on moss-covered carpet in the shade of a variety of trees that soared so high and grew so thick we could barely see the sun. We poked at fish eggs in ponds green with algae and heavily coated with yellow pollen. We walked across ravines on fallen trees that had become natural bridges for small bodies with tiny feet. We slid down red-clay cliffs on our backsides using the earth as a sliding board. We rolled our bodies like barrels down straw covered hills until we were so dizzy we made ourselves sick.
Most days, when we got home from school, we couldn’t wait to grab a snack and head outside. We didn’t even change our clothes. We played in our plaid dresses and knee socks not caring one bit about the scrapes and scratches our shins and knees endured. We only returned home at the sound of my mother’s shrill whistle that carried over vine and vale announcing it was time for dinner.
We were brave.
And hopelessly addicted to the outdoors.
I felt as if I had no boundaries. If not for the highway and the country road it seemed as if the woods just stretched on forever. The wire fence surrounding the fields couldn’t stop us. We crawled under the wire and went our merry way.
I knew those fields and woods didn’t belong to me or my family, but somehow…in my childish mind…they felt like they were mine, because I wasn’t just associated with the family who owned them. I was actually their friend and real friends share. They share stories and secrets, belongings and blessings, homes and happiness.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have known the Michie family. I barely have a childhood memory that doesn’t have them in it. They didn’t just share their land with me. They shared their lives.
What was precious to the Michie children became precious to me because they opened their home and their hearts and their little piece of heaven on earth.
There are just some things money can’t buy.
I think this is what Psalm 16 is all about.
The great psalmist, David, was so good about sharing his heart with God. I think that’s why we love the Psalms. Sometimes we just don’t know how to put into words the deep things of the heart.
“Lord, You alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land You have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!” verses 5-6
Whether you are fortunate enough or not to own a lot of property, there’s something very profound about these verses. A secret every child of God wants to claim and grasp hold of.
I can’t say I felt any less rich living on one acre of land in the midst of hundreds that didn’t belong to me. I didn’t feel cheated because we lived in a house that belonged to the church. I didn’t feel like I was missing out because I never felt like a visitor.
My childhood was rich because I had parents who loved me and because I knew they loved the Lord. Maybe I didn’t understand it all as a child, but I believe in my heart…in the place where I didn’t know how to express myself…that God was preparing me early to have a certain amount of knowing that He alone is my inheritance, my cup of blessing. Even then.
There’s something so sacred about knowing and being known by the One who promises to go through life with me. Who shares it all with me…secrets, blessings, happiness…and who wants me to share my all with Him.
“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.” verse 8
For the child of God there are just some riches that reach far beyond any main thoroughfare heavily traveled on this earth. No country road will ever lead me to the kind of blessings only heaven offers. No wooden fence posts or miles and miles of steel wire can keep me from entering my promised land…the inheritance that is mine in Christ Jesus.
My inheritance is far grander. Far greater. Far more glorious.
The kind of thing you can’t put a price on.
All because the Lord alone is my portion, my cup of blessing. When I let go and drink it all in, I am hopelessly addicted. I know “apart from Him I have no good thing.” verse 2
Sometimes I wonder, if I didn’t have a home or a little tiny plot of land or a penny to my name, would He still be enough?
I know it in my head, but would I know it in my heart?
I so want this to be so.
God has already shared so much with me. More than I’ve ever shared with Him because He gave me His Son.
The Father gave me Jesus so I would have this hope…this inheritance…this forever home. There’s plenty of “scope for the imagination” in this truth to keep me entertained from now until my days on earth are over.
Sometimes there are no words…
In the end of the parable of the lost son as told in Luke 15, the older son was angry that his father chose to celebrate the return of his wayward brother. But, the father said to the older son,
“My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
I don’t know about you, but I get all teary eyed just thinking about it.
God is so good about giving me little pieces of heaven on earth and they really are wonderful things. He’s so good like that, but I know all the good He has given me here on earth just can’t compare with what’s to come.
Even when things aren’t perfect, even when there are struggles and frustrations and disappointments and heartache, I have this hope…in the depths of my soul.
Because I love His Son, the Father will share it all with me. What is precious to the Father has become precious to me and because He shares with me His heart, His home, and all that heaven holds I’ve determined to share mine with Him.
All of it…the stories and secrets, the belongings and blessings, the eternal home and forever happiness.
Because true friends share it all.
“I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” John 15:15
And because there are just some things money can’t buy.
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever.” verse 11
faith, faith journey, blessings of God, riches of God, Psalm 16, eternal pleasures forever, path of life, joy in God’s presence, the Lord is my portion, the Lord is always with me, the Lord is my refuge, God is good