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Transformation Garden - Apr. 21, 2011

  • 2011 Apr 21

“When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil, they found among them much cattle, goods, garments, and precious things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry away, so much they were three days in gathering the spoil. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah. There they blessed the Lord. So the name of the place is still called the Valley of Beracah (blessing).”
II Chronicles 20: 25, 26
Amplified Bible


“Living In The Valley of Beracah”

“God is more anxious to bestow His blessings on us than we are to receive them.”
Augustine of Hippo

How would I describe where I am living my life right now?

Am I living in the valley of blessings?

If not, is there something I need to ask God to help me see so I can more fully appreciate His bountiful goodness to me?

“What a world this would be if we could forget our troubles as easily as we forget our blessings.”
Author Unknown


“Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience, and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.”
Joseph Addison    

When I was a young girl, my grandmother had a little book called, Hymns For Children. One of her favorite songs, which she taught me, was called, “Count Your Blessings.” As with most youngsters, if I fell into a whining or grumbling mood, I could count on hearing Grandma’s sweet voice singing these words:

“Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done
Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done.”

It wasn’t until I was an adult, that I could truly appreciate the entirety of this song, penned in 1897 by Johnson Oatman, Jr. Here are several of the stanzas I find extremely inspiring:

“When upon life’s billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged
Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you
What the Lord has done

Are you ever burdened
With a load of care
Does the cross seem heavy
You are called to bear
Count your many blessings
Every doubt will fly
And you will be singing
Asthe days go by

When you look at others
With their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised
You His wealth untold
Count your blessings
Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven
Nor your home on high

So, amid the conflict
Whether great or small
Do not be discouraged
God is over all
Count your many blessings
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey’s end.”

As I hummed this song today, I thought how easy it is for my eyes to get obstructed by the problems I face until the sunlight of my Father’s loving presence is completely blocked. Maybe you can relate! In a world where bad news constantly outweighs the good, God’s blessings can seem small or non-existent if we don’t take time to recognize how much we have to be thankful for.

One of my favorite pastors from years past, Charles Spurgeon, pointed out, “temporal blessings are not definite marks of divine favor.” This is absolutely true for throughout the Bible, many of God’s children suffered great heartache, sorrow and pain. And as Pastor Spurgeon also noted, “God gives (blessings) to the unworthy, and to the wicked, as well as to the righteous.”

This being the case, I think it is wise for us to look a little closer as to what God’s blessings are and what they mean to us as we walk daily on our Father’s pathway. Often we think of blessings in terms of prosperity – which can mean we receive financial well-being in the form of some material possessions. If you look at our text today, after the destruction of the Ammonites, Moabites, and Meunites, the bounty which these nations left behind on the battlefield was so great, it took the people of Judah three days to gather everything up. Now let me tell you, that was a lot of loot. One might think that getting so much wealth in one battle was like winning the lottery. But to come to the conclusion that plundered possessions were the blessing of this victory would be flat wrong. For there is another definition of the word “blessing” that applies much more correctly to our relationship with our heavenly Father. If we go back to Genesis 32: 26, we find Jacob wrestling all night with an individual he at first thought was sent by his brother Esau’s army to kill him. But by morning light, Jacob recognized this was no ordinary human, and he informed “the Man,” “I will not let you go unless You declare a blessing upon me,” or as the Hebrew tells us, Jacob knelt and asked for his life to bring glory to God. In Jacob’s eyes, a heavenly blessing upon his life would be recognized in one way, and it was this -- that all he did brought adoration and glory to God.

This is exactly what we find happening in the Valley of Beracah or the Valley of Blessings as it was called. It wasn’t that the people of Judah came through this experience with more “things” than they had before. What we find really mattered was, “the fear (awe, respect, adoration, admiration) of God came upon all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel” (II Chronicles 20: 29).

This got me to thinking. “Why is it,” I asked myself, “that so often it is through our greatest heartaches and most aggressive challenges that God brings us the most massive blessings – ones we could never have imagined?” I know this is true for I am daily proof of that out of an experience I still don’t understand and out of the pain that daily haunts my life – God gave me the greatest blessing, a way I can share with others the glory of my Father in heaven through the ministry of Transformation Garden.

As I shared with a special lady who came to the Garden today for the first time, it is difficult, almost impossible, to explain the terrible heartaches and horrific events that invade so many lives. But every day, I ask God, to at least, once during the day, take the blinders off my eyes and help me to recognize His blessings – His glory – in the midst of difficulty. As Izaak Walton correctly observed, “Blessings we enjoy daily, and for the most of them, because they be so common, men forget to pay their praises. But let not us, because it is a sacrifice so pleasing to Him who still protects us, and gives us flowers, and showers, and meat and content.”

Let’s commit to making our daily abode in the Valley of Beracah. This is where I want to live everyday – in the Valley of Blessing where my life is perpetually giving glory to my Father’s strength, protection, and love.

“The more we count the blessings we have, the less we crave the luxuries we haven’t.”
William A. Ward


Bless Us

“Our brother Jesus, you set our feet upon the way and sometimes where you lead we do not like or understand.
Bless us with courage where the way is fraught with dread or danger;
Bless us with graceful meetings where the way is lonely;
Bless us with good companies where the way demands a common cause;
Bless us with night vision where we travel in the dark, keen hearing where we have not sight, to hear the reassuring sounds of fellow travelers;
Bless us with humour – we cannot travel lightly weighed down with gravity;
Bless us with humility to learn from those around us;
Bless us with decisiveness where we must move with speed;
Bless us with lazy moments, to stretch and rest and savour;
Bless us with love, given and received;
And bless us with your presence, even when we know it in your absence.
Lead us into exile,
until we find that on the road
is where you are,
and where you are is going home.
Bless us, lead us, love us, brings us home
bearing the Gospel of life.”

Kathy Galloway

Your friend,
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

P.S. Just to let you know, Transformation Garden is now on FACEBOOK. Please come and see us and share the garden with your friends. The Daily Devotional will be posted everyday, on Monday through Friday on Facebook, too.  

My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at, and, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You may also call Transformation Garden at 602-368-1245. 

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