∼The Middle of the Garden∼

My experiences from walking and talking with Jesus in the middle of life's garden…a blog by Janet Williams

There once was a man who lived in a small, rural town. This town was quite a distance away from a major city. The town had one large factory that employed most of the people in the town. There were the usual stores, gas stations, library, schools and post office in this towns and the people were content. Most of the people had lived their whole lives in this town. In fact, most of the people’s families had lived in their homes for generations. They handed down their homes, land and businesses to their children who, in turn, handed them down to their children.

But, times changed. The factory struggled to keep up with the demands of a changing world and economy. The factory was bought out and closed down. The people tried to continue on but soon, little by little, the town began to shrink. People couldn’t find enough work and the family businesses struggled financially until the town was left without a gas station, grocery store or a bank. Many people took to abandoning their land, homes and businesses because no one was buying.

There was one man who had a small family who lived in the town. He was the fourth generation to own their home and their land. He was the third generation to own a small business in town. He watched as others packed up and left but he refused to give up on his home and his town.

This was when the corporation that purchased the old, abandoned factory came into town and told the remaining people that they were going to reopen the factory. The townspeople were overjoyed. That was until the corporation told them that the factory would now make a new product and that they would be buying up the properties in the town in order to build more buildings.

Many of the people were desperate and sold their land quickly to the corporation. Others, like this one man, held onto the hope that the town would be revived and refused to sell.

The corporation began buying up as much of the land as they could around the old factory. There was just one holdout and that was the one man mentioned above. The corporation approached the man six times with very reasonable and fair offers to buy him out but he refused. He was going to stand up for what was his no matter what.

When the corporation saw that this one man was not budging they went to great expense to redesign their plant so that it would go around this mans’ property. There would now be a main road that would lead right past this mans’ home to the opening of the gates to the factory. The corporation showed the man the revised plans and told him that he could expect large semi’s coming and going down the road at all hours. They showed him that the lights from the factory grounds would be on all night and shine in their windows. They showed him how that while the factory may employ some of the townspeople it would not employ many. This was the seventh time that the corporation had tried to make the man see reason. But, the man refused to sell. He refused to move.

Eventually, the extension was built onto the factory as was the road that led past their house. Even though the man was willing to hold out he was becoming increasingly angry, sullen and withdrawn. He continually complained to his wife and children how they weren’t going to let a big corporation run them off their land. But, the lights and traffic became too much for his wife and in the middle of the night she packed up the kids, took what little money she could find and left.

This finally woke the man out of his staunchness into reality. He had to leave or lose his family. He came to see that he was losing his old way of life inch by inch and that through all of his fighting he’d won nothing. The town wasn’t the same place it was when he was growing up. The old familiar landmarks and people were gone. It would never be the same again. He felt he had truly lost everything and that it was unfair of this corporation. Desperate to save his marriage he went into the offices of the factory manager and told them that he was now ready to sell.

The manager got in touch with the corporate offices and this was their reply.

Dear Mr. XXXXXXXX,

We regret to inform you that we are not able to purchase your land at this time. Our corporation has gone to great expense to provide you with a way out and has made seven attempts to do so. Since you refused to sell your land to us we have had to modify the structure of our facility in your town which came at a great expense to the corporation. We are saddened to say that you were duly warned of what was to come.

Sincerely,

Vice President of the CCCCCCCCC Corporation.

The man sadly realized that this corporation would get his land in the end. If he abandoned the property they would buy it up from the unpaid taxes. But, the minute the corporation came into town, in essence, they already owned his house.

The man thought of suing the big corporation but had no money to do so. The topic of suing had come up at several of the town council meetings but nothing was ever done. The man thought of burning his house down to the ground so that they might get the land but not the house but the thought of ruining the very thing he was trying to preserve wasn’t in his heart to do. The man also thought of taking the house apart board by board and having it moved to a new location. At least he’d have the house. He held back from dwelling on his last thought and that was retribution. Why burn down his house when he could set fire to the factory? That just wasn’t that kind of person.

As the man packed up the last of his belongings in a truck and left the house for the last time he had to say, “It is finished”, he closed the door and didn’t look back. He drove away thinking of how in order to save his life he had to give up his life. In order to find his life again he had to lose his former life. He could not keep them both.

This is the way things will be in the end times. There will be a global force that will be like a “Beast”. It will be like the corporation in our story. It will so dominate the world’s economic scene that no one will be able to combat it or stop it. It will roam about with teeth like iron and it will grind to shreds any individual who thinks they can withstand it.

So too, just like the corporation who was willing to pay a fair market price for this man’s home and land, Jesus comes and He knocks at the door of our hearts. He implores us to accept His free gift of having paid the ransom for our life. But, either way He declares, “It is finished”. Whether we choose to accept Him, leave behind the life we loved and cling to His new life or we choose to stand against Him and try and wait out the Beast’s reign of terror, those words, “It is finished”, will be pronounced one way or the other. The stage is set and the permanent change in the world is coming. We have been warned.

The truth is that we are either turning our lives over to become like Jesus and be the sacrificed lamb on the altar in order to receive new life for eternity or we become part of the Beast and we then become the ones who persecute others. There is no third option where we escape from making a choice.

John 12:23-25 The Passion Translation says,

He replied to them, “Now is the time for the Son of Man to be glorified. Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died.

 The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever!”

…The Middle of the Garden…a blog by Janet Williams…A blog to see…

Thursday, February 20, 2020

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