The King's Gardeners Ministries

Reverend S. L. Gardner

Spokane Valley, Washington US

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- The Lesson of The Mule -

This morning I remembered a story I'd heard many years ago. As I meditated on this brief story the Lord started a prophetic illumination and prayer as follows. If you've been divorced by your spouse or have been forsaken think of yourself as the mule. The process of divorce and permanent separation is the garbage pit and the villagers are those who scoff at you. You'll have to wait until the end to find out who the land owner is where the pit was dug.

A man had a mule that was getting old and infirmed. The mule couldn't please his "master" any more. The mule had taken good care of this mans fields and had been a faithful partner for many years. Sadly now the man didn't want to feed and care for the mule any more so he threw his faithful friend in a nearby garbage pit to die. He figured he'd better do it now and save himself the trouble of hauling off the dead carcass when the time came.
People came by and heard the mules' plaintive cries but after seeing the mules condition did nothing but toss their garbage down into the pit on top of the mule. Rains poured down and garbage fell from overhead covering his once beautiful coat in muck. Still day after day the mule cried out hoping that the one who once had been thought of as a faithful partner would hear and respond.

Time went by and no one could understand why the mule was still alive. Finally the cries stopped and everyone figured the mule had died. They weren't saddened at the thought of the mules' death but instead were glad they didn't have to hear the plaintive cries any more.

The owner of the property heard the story and went to the pit. He was astonished to find the old mule lying down under a nearby tree! The mule was quite alive and looked better than he had in years. The landowner wondered aloud why this had happened?

Suddenly God let the landowner understand the mules' language. Here's what the mule said. When my cruel and uncaring partner discarded me I thought I was going to die. I didn't think anyone was going to respond to my cries of fear, agony and despair. But my God heard me. The rains came and filled an old discarded bucket already thrown into the pit so that I could drink. It wasn't the best bucket but it held water and without that rusty bucket I would have died for lack of water.

The mule continued - people would come and gawk at me making rude remarks and wondering why I didn't just let go like I was supposed to. But my God told me to hang on because He had a plan for me that was good and not evil. That was hard to believe considering my dire circumstances. Then God showed me that he had been talking to those who were mocking me but they had turned a deaf ear. That's why my bucket was old and rusty, not because God wanted it that way but because the ones God spoke to didn't respond.

The same people who gawked and scoffed at me would throw garbage into the pit hoping to bury me alive said the Mule. But my God showed me what was still good in what they threw down. What had been meant to finish off my life nourished me instead. Yes it stunk and covered my once beautiful hair with muck but I was alive. I was able to stay alive in spite of the hardness of hearts and deafness of ears from those God intended to save and support me.

The garbage thrown down by those hoping to kill me began to pile up. I stomped it down making a solid mass out of it so I didn't sink. This took a lot of energy as I was so weak from being misused prior to being thrown away but I persisted. Somehow my God gave me the strength to survive.

Soon the level of garbage rose in the pit. Month after month I'd cry out to those who came to dump garbage on me but no one responded by pulling me out and caring for me. God took care of me in the midst of the rejection and garbage. No - He didn't rescue me out of it but instead showed me how to survive on the good IN it.

Eventually the level of garbage rose so high that I could struggle out of the pit meant for my death. God poured a cleansing rain on me washing off all the muck and garbage. He had grown beautiful fruit trees near the pit from a cast off seed so I could have good food and shelter from the hot sun. God had created a place of refuge where I rested and gained strength from the lush green grass surrounding the pit. There were vegetables growing from cast off seeds and I banqueted from dawn 'til dusk. I luxuriated in the nearby stream where the clear cool water poured down from the mountains and thanked God for His provision in the best of times and the worst of times.

The mule continued - Then my God showed me something else. The man who owned the land was a good man from another county. He had done the villagers a service letting them dig the garbage pit on his land. It had never been meant to be used to destroy living creatures. Even so his generosity had kept me from being shot or beaten to death.
Because there was a garbage pit my hardhearted partner had chosen the easy way to dispose of me but there was more. You see the garbage in the pit fed the deep roots of the trees making them strong and bountiful. As the level of compressed garbage rose the plants near the surface were also nourished causing the surrounding area to have the richest soil in the land.

My God had saved my life and blessed the one who was generous. It was all Gods plan to save my life. The Lord sent the landowner to witness the blessing of his generosity and to show Gods mercy to those who are rejected and discarded.

The mule finishes the story by saying, The Land owner let me stay right where I was vowing that never again would the people of the town scoff or mistreat me. Now when they come to throw garbage in the pit they see me and the beautiful new home my heavenly Father had planned for me all along.

But for the hardness of mans heart I would be cast off without home food or care. But My God is sufficient to bring me through any circumstance. Now the mule stands as a reminder of Gods mercy not only to me but also to those who mistreated me. Every time they look at me now they are reminded that God will not approve of discarding any living thing just because they no longer service as they did once when they were young. One day I know this message will reach the one I'm still faithful to and he will come once again to take me home to be cared for and loved, as I should have been all along.

Until then I will stay in THE Land owners sanctuary where His provision and care will sustain me for as long as it takes for this message to come alive in my beloved partners heart. For The Land owner is my God and although man perverts what He has given so generously never the less Gods plan WILL prevail.

God calls us to be good stewards of those in our care and not discard them for any reason. That's why our vows do not include a provision for divorce but specifically say that we are to remain faithful in sickness and health for richer or poorer for better or worse forsaking all others until death.

Malachi 2:11-16 tells us that our spouses have been faithless and dealt treacherously with us and that the body of Christ is shamed because of it. The Lord confirms our marriages and says to the hard hearted that it is THEM that cover Gods altar with our tears as well as their own caused by their foolish lack of regard for what God calls holy.
Psalm 56 is the mules' prayer.

Be merciful and gracious to me O God, for man would trample me and devour me; all the daylong the adversary oppresses me. They that lie in wait for me would swallow me up or trample me all day long, for they are many who fight against me, O Most High!
What time I am afraid, I will have confidence in and put my trust and reliance in You. By the help of God I will praise His word' on God I lean rely and confidently put my trust: I will not fear.

What can man, who is flesh do to me? All day long they twist my words and trouble my affairs; all their thoughts are against me for evil and my hurt. They gather themselves together, they hid themselves, they watch my steps, even as they expectantly waited for my life.

They think to escape with iniquity and shall they? In Your indignation bring down the peoples, O God. You number and record my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle - are they not in Your book?

Then shall my enemies turn back in the day that I cry out; this I KNOW, for God is with me. (Rom. 8:31) In God, Whose work I praise, in the Lord, Whose word I praise, In God have I put my trust and confident reliance; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Your vows are upon me, O God; I will render praise to You and give You thank offerings. For YOU have delivered my life from death, yes, and my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life and of the living.

May Gods richest blessings overtake you daily and may you and yours walk in the cool green pastures drinking at the clarified water God provides until your husband or wife learns to be a good steward of what God has given in Jesus Name.

May God completely restore YOU and restore your family to the best plan He has in Jesus Name.

Rev. Dr. S.L. Gardner

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