“He did not make it to the Willow Tree.”
I recently had the loss of a friend. He passed away rather suddenly at age 49, much younger than I, much younger than his teacher, but I am the teacher he rejected.
There is more to tell about this Willow Tree, and one who made it and one who did not. We were a trio. Three friends who did things together. And one of us did not have a lot of friends because he had issues, emotional issues that required a lot of patience at times, to remain friends. But we did. The three of us did, until we did not. Because he made it very plain, he cut us off. “I will have nothing to do with your Fellowship!” he loudly proclaimed in a Subway restaurant.
Yes, it was rather embarrassing, but people will embarrass you at times, when you follow Jesus. He made his choice that night and cut us off. The “3” became “2”. And our Fellowship went on. (There are actually four of us in the Fellowship.) But when a tree fell on his roof, who did he call? Did he call the big church he chose to be a part of? No.
It just happened to happen on a Sunday morning. Every one would be rising to go to Church. He called me. I came immediately and helped with the emergency, but he still chose the big Church. I hope it did not have to do with money. The Church has helped them with money since he left us. My little group does not have much money to give, even though we did give to his wife after he suddenly passed away. We gave what we had, and the Pastor preached his funeral and put him in the ground.
I worry about Christians today, and what they follow. Who is this materialistic Jesus the modern preachers preach? It should be “impossible” to create a materialistic Jesus, and yet somehow they have, and people love it. So… I did not know I would be sharing this story in my life…but I go where the Spirit leads me…and this is where I find myself today…in my quiet time. So here is a story you can decide what it means to you.
When we were “3”, we did things together, and of course, me being the way I am, I led my 2 friends to special places. One of them being a place I had named “Warrior Hill”. This place required a hike through nature and a rugged climb up a big hill. Once you reached the top, it was another hike to a scenic cliff overlooking a large body of water and beautiful view. It was a place to relax, enjoy food, fellowship, beauty of nature, and of course…Spirit.
The “3” of us enjoyed that place. It is a great memory now, before everything was spoiled by what now feels like betrayal. I happen to know he never found the kind of fellowship at that Church that he had with us. He never got the “closeness” he had with us. Who did he call in the emergency? Me. Who did he call when he was dying? He did call his Church Pastor, but he also called me.
And somehow… he passed away before any of us could see him. None of us knew he was actually dying, until a few hours before he did. He called me on Friday to let me know he was in hospital. I was planning on seeing him Sunday, but we got a call early Sunday morning. I was in the hospital trying to find his room when his soul left his body. The Pastor never made it.
The big Church sent 2 people who stood before us and said a few words before they turned and left. They spent a short time in the hospital room with the wife, but did not socialize with the family at all. Who was there that day? Not the Pastor, but me.
I do not have a popular message, but there have been many times in history where “truth” was not popular, such as in the days of Noah. Jesus plainly stated you cannot serve God and money! And yet my “gut” keeps telling me the Church has sold out to money. Therefore, a Sword comes out of this warrior’s mouth and people don’t like it.
My friend cut us off before I was led to the discovery of the Willow Tree. I would have taken him there. It is a place God speaks to me. I have taken 2 other people there, so far. The other member of our one time trio has made it both to “Warrior Hill”, and also the “Willow Tree”. The other friend never made it to the Willow Tree.
People today, like to blame God for all the bad things that happen on earth, because they think if God is all powerful, why doesn’t he stop all the unfair things in this earth. They like to ignore that God promised not to fix things until an appointed time. He is a God who keeps his word, and they ignore that God gave man the governing of this earth in Genesis chapter one. He has not taken back that dominion. If anyone should be mad and casting blame, it should be God! We messed up his perfect creation because we could not pass one simple test, and chose to believe a snake over God. There is no one else to blame but ourselves. The buck stops here! With us! You and I! Stop blaming God! For mercy’s sake, wise up, get honest, and stop blaming God.
However, God did promise an appointed time where he takes back over and rules with a rod of iron, just like these people seem to want him to, and there will be 1000 years of peace and no death. But why does he wait? Why not do it now?
Well, besides the point he gave his word, there is also the little matter of people who will still get saved, but have not yet, would be cut off. Now one might ask, won’t that still be true when the appointed time comes? Maybe not.
Remember… as in the days of Noah. Noah preached righteousness to the people for like 100 years, and not one person got saved!!! Could mankind repeat such a history. Will there come a time when no one else will get saved anyway? So then the Lord returns after all who will get saved have gotten saved.
Revelation reveals the 1000 year reign begins after the Mark of the Beast. Anyone taking that mark has doomed their soul. After giving it some thought, I realized people will be forced to make a decision. After a little while, most likely those who are willing to die before taking that mark, have already made that decision and are barely surviving some where, if they have not already been executed. Perhaps mankind will be at such a place again, where no one else will believe? When Jesus returns to the earth, will he find faith?
How many modern materialistic Christians will be able to say “No” to the mark, when it means they must give up everything they have pursued and enjoyed, possibly even their life? How many Christians will betray Christ for the sake of money?
My friend never got to share the Willow Tree with me, but 2 of us have, and will again. The doctors said he developed mono, of all things, and it damaged his liver, and for some other reason his kidneys were also shutting down. It was strange and swift. And even as I tried, God did not allow me to see him one last time before he passed.
I mentioned in previous article, I went to the Willow after seeing Star Wars episode 9. I had thought I would share those thoughts in this article, but the Wind took me this way, so perhaps next time. But I leave this true event with you to ponder and decide for yourself. Yes, there are many possibilities of why it all happened. But for some reason the “fellowship” was broken. and even though I kept my door open, we were never a trio again and now he is gone, and at such a young age. We never know the time we have. These bodies are houses built upon sand.
Thanks for visiting the Willow Tree with me, where the Sword of the Lord does shine. I hope the Lord’s Sword is a beautiful thing to you, drawing you back time and time again. I hope it does not cause you to flee, but to embrace.