∼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

Revelation 14:6 “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, with an eternal Gospel (good news) to tell to the inhabitants of the earth, to every race and tribe and language and people.” AMP

Please don’t get me wrong. In the past five posts I have stated things about the “Black Lives Matter” phrase that may appear to be against the movement. I AM NOT AGAINST IT. I am for the movement and know that sometimes society needs movements like this that have made social changes that have personally benefitted me. There are times we need a wake-up call and I believe this one is one of those movements.

It’s just that I think the phrasing “Black Lives Matter” and the idea of working for social change should be bigger and broader. I think to only change the world in the area of how white police officers treat black citizens is very limited in scope and benefit. I am glad that the matter has reached national attention and that our society is on the verge of pushing through to change.

I am of the opinion that the phrase we could look up to and hope to see fulfilled in this world is that, “All Lives Matter”. Whether it is an unborn fetus, a homosexual, a family in poverty, a member of a rival gang, a child being sold drugs, etc. The list can go on and on. The injustices in this world are overwhelming right now. We have starvation at a high, terrorism, global emergencies and health care crisis as well. I know I don’t need to list all the troubles of the world to get my point across.

As a child who grew up in the sixties, I know that social change has come about through a lot of people standing up for what is right and fair. I, myself, know that I would not have had the freedom and opportunities to succeed in life if a bunch of women had not stood up for women and demanded social change in the ways women were mistreated and viewed as inferiors to men. So, I get it when black people rise up and work towards the changing of the treatment of police officers towards black civilians.

But, as a Christian I strive to understand and live by the teachings, leading and beliefs of Jesus. I work, every day, to see the world and my place in it through His eyes. I study the bible to understand what He said, why He said it and what His overall message was. The one phrase that I come away with that begs the social change that Jesus would like to see would be that, “Eternal Life Matters Most”. That is the one thing that Jesus stressed again and again. He emphasized that He knows the heart of the Father better than anyone else ever has. He works at keeping close to the Father and we, Christians, work at keeping close to Jesus. His message, His life and His death on the cross all point to what matters most to Him and that is that eternal life and the way to get it, hold onto it and be free of eternal death is through Him. It is why Jesus came to this earth and pleaded with people to accept Him.

However, I don’t think that Jesus would ever be against any movement that tried to change the way people are treated. Jesus was all about getting Justice for others. Justice and fairness were at the heart of His gospel. He saw and still sees the injustice that goes on in this world. His heart is set towards those who suffer injustice. He knows the sting of unfairness, inequality and injustice. It was heaped upon Him until He died from it. He gets it! So, I think that any social movement that leads people closer to living a more moral life will lead people to question what it is within their own souls that might be unjust or unfair. This will hopefully and eventually lead them to an understanding of Who God is and why Jesus came here in the first place. And the reason that is so important is because none of us is so powerful that we can change our minds, hearts and thinking about such a core issue as to prejudice and denying ourselves the right to treat others poorly, especially when we benefit from it personally.

However, I have seen in my own personal experiences with attempting to change myself that if I try to do it outside of God’s help, aid and permissible will that I end up tired, angry and defeated. In the long run I forget about trying to change at all and become more entrenched in my old way of thinking. It is easier just to finally give up.

Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” But, He also said that in Him, by Him and through Him you can do everything. In fact, He is wanting to aid, assist and bless what you do that is in Him. He wants to be a part of it. I don’t think, though, that Jesus can be a part of a movement that is expecting one race to change even if it is beneficial to another race. I think that Jesus sees injustice heaped upon all races and all people.

I again come back to the thought that expecting others to change to make my life better never works out well for me. When they don’t I become angry and confused. I build up resentment that my demands weren’t met and that my expectations that everyone else change to suit me never happened. It is the idea that I expect others to change but am unwilling or unable to see how I need to change too. My expectation has to include my changing my own thoughts and beliefs. But, by just demanding everyone else change to suit me is lopsided. Real change can only come through the power of God that springs from within me. As I change and move towards God, I change my world around me. But, real, long-lasting, permanent change within me takes years of struggle, learning, seeking God’s heart and accepting the changes that I really don’t want to accept. Real change means that I must humble myself before God and remind myself that I really know nothing compared to Him. That is the beginning of real change in my mind, heart and soul.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope I’ve defined, encouraged and challenged you to think along new lines and turn your life over to the One and only God Who can change hearts and lives.

This is Janet Williams, signing off from The Middle of the Garden. It’s a blog to see!  8-1-20

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