Marilyn stared at the eviction notice sign again. Her heart racing in her chest and her hands vibrating as she tried to hold on to the letter that had been delivered to her doorstep. She had woken up this morning and had poured herself a cup of coffee as usual. She loved to sit on the front porch and read the daily newsletter. She wrapped her robe around her waist and headed for the front door, picked up the mail from behind the door as well as the newsletter before stepping out into the fresh morning air. That was when she saw the sign. It was set up at an awkward angle so she couldn’t see it clearly at first. She moved a little to the side of the house and saw the big red x on the wall right above the porch bench. Then she turned to look at the sign ‘To be demolished’. She nearly spilled her coffee as she hurriedly placed the mug on the bench. She quickly scrambled through the mail and saw the letter from the government, she ripped it open and read. This building will be demolished in 30 days as it is sitting on a major drain line…the letter continued but her mind had fazed off. She peeped out to see her neighbors houses and theirs were marked as well. No one seemed to have noticed if not she was sure someone would have come knocking. Marilyn collapsed onto the bench. What action was she going to take? Was she going to sue her solicitors for selling her a land on a pipeline or argue with the government! What if she lost! She didn’t even have the funds to argue her case!!!!!!
Some two towns away. Matthew Barrett was experiencing the same fate. This time it wasn’t his house that was at stake of being lost. He was up early to see his lawyer because he was being sued for farming on unauthorized land. His lawyer had already told him he didn’t have the funds to go up against the state, but Matthew threatened him into taking the case and defending him. His excuse “I simply didn’t know” was not a good enough reason to convince the judge to let him keep his land. There had to be some evidence or trail as to why he felt he had the legitimate right to the land. Matthew buried his face in his palm as he sat quietly on the bench. He was too old for this.
It’s one thing to have the resources to build a nice house and it’s another thing to end up building and then realizing later on that all your efforts were in vain. My father is so skeptical when it comes to buying land in Nigeria because you never know what’s legitimate or not. The summary of his warnings in the best way to getting out of a mess is doing your homework well. Perhaps the same warning should have been given to Marilyn and Matthew.
What’s the lesson to take out of this?
Many of us have been blessed and gifted by God. God does give seed to the sower and with it the tools to make a bountiful harvest. It is one thing to have all you need and it’s another thing to end up using our God-given resources and talents in areas that are of no benefit – basically planting on the unauthorized ground. Like Marylyn and Matthew, we may then discover that we do not have the same resources to start over or it is simply too late. The God who gives us the resources to build or the seeds to sow is the same God who said doing it without Him will only be in vain and end up in futility (Psalm 127:1). It’s a new month!!! Pushing into the second half of the year. May God continue to order our steps.
Isaiah 42:16 New International Version (NIV)
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.
Psalm 127:1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness