Backyard Bonanza

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

A couple in California’s Sierra Nevada, who desire to remain anonymous, really got a surprise recently when they discovered an old tin can buried in their backyard. It looked like a piece of rusted trash, but then they saw that there was some dirt-encrusted metal discs inside the can. When they cleaned the discs, they discovered rare 19th-century U.S. gold coins!

Of course this set them to looking for more cans in the backyard. They did discover seven more cans. Early estimates suggest that the gold coins are worth over $10 million. They have connected with a renowned collector who is going to offer the coins at auction in May 2014.

The couple was very cute about the incident. The man said, “It was very hard to believe. I thought any second an old miner with a mule was going to appear.”

$10 million right in their own backyard. I know a lot of people have gone searching for gold out in California. Today there are still a lot of panhandlers who look for gold. This couple found it in their own backyard.

There is something about human nature that always thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. People think if you go somewhere else you might find success, happiness, love, etc. The joy of living is not “out there” – it is right in our own backyard. God has equipped each of us with everything that is necessary to discover all the joys of life that He has given to us.

Years ago a man named Russell Conwell made a lot of money traveling around the world making a speech called “Acres of Diamonds.” It really had this same theme. It was about a farmer who sold his land to go out and look for diamonds. He traveled the world and spent all his money. He never found them. He then learned that the man who had bought his farm had actually discovered one of the largest deposits of diamonds in the world.

It was in his backyard all the time – but he thought he had to go somewhere else.

In Luke 15 the prodigal son thought that the real joys of life were “out there.” He left home and went to find them. He wound up broke and destitute and working in a pig pen. His food was the leftovers from what the pigs wouldn’t eat. He then “came to himself” and decided to go home. It was there that he discovered real life.

Wherever we find ourselves today, God will provide everything that is necessary for this day to be as full and meaningful as possible. Happiness is not “out there.” A better marriage is not “out there.” A better life is not “out there.” Success is not “out there.” Check your “backyard!”

The Greek word in Luke 15:17 that we translate “came to himself,” or “woke up” really indicates a whole new way of thinking. It is time to wake up! Paul wrote to the people in Rome, “it is time for you to wake-up.” Romans 13:11

In May, a couple in Sierra Nevada will discover the value of what was in their backyard. I hope we can discover that today!

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