1 The Richest Man in the Valley

A Norwegian farmer stood on the porch of his fine old home gazing out over his broad acres. Never had he feasted his eyes on scenery that appeared so beautiful to him as his own land looked on this fair summer's day. "All this is mine!" he exclaimed.

However, he was really poor, because, having neglected the needs of his immortal soul, he was "not rich toward God." (Luke 12:21.) As he stood gloating over his land, a servant appeared with his riding horse. He jumped into the saddle and galloped away.

Up the lane a little distance old Hans, the farm hand, was working. Hans had just unpacked his lunch. He removed his hat, and with folded hands, was returning thanks to the Giver of all good gifts when he heard his employer's voice: "Hans, how are you today?"

"Oh, is it you, sir?" responded the old man, looking up. "I did not hear you coming. I have grown somewhat deaf lately and my sight is failing too."

The Richest Man in the Valley 2

"But you look very happy, Hans."

"Happy? Yes, indeed, I am happy! I have many reasons to be. My heavenly Father gives me raiment and daily bread. I have a roof over my head, and a good bed to sleep in. That is more than my precious Saviour had while He sojourned here below. I was just thanking God for all His mercies when you appeared."

The landlord glanced at Hans' meager lunch - a few slices of bread and a piece of fried pork. "And that is the kind of food you are thanking God for! I would feel quite deprived if that were all I had for dinner."

"Would you?" asked Hans wonderingly. "But perhaps you do not know what I have that adds sweetness to everything God gives me. It is the inward presence of Christ my Saviour! May I tell you a dream I had last night, sir?"

"Of course, Hans; tell your dream; I'd like to hear it."

"As I was falling asleep my mind was taken up with the happy land above and the many mansions prepared for those who truly love the Lord. Suddenly I felt myself transferred to the heavenly portals. They were wide open, so I could look into the blessed city. Oh, sir, the glory and beauty I saw no tongue could describe! Of course it was just a dream; but there was one thing I particularly want to tell you."