“My farm is taken!” That phrase is almost as terrifying as the word “Cancer”. On Tuesday 24th April, while I was busy cutting silage, four smart vehicles came racing into my farm yard, and out jumped about twenty big black men, dark with anger and seething hatred. I walked over to them and greeted them in a friendly manner, receiving only mumbled replies. The leader, the lands commissioner, started. “You are aware that the government has acquired all farm land and that you are living illegally on this farm.” “Oh,” I replied. “Well,” he continued, “We have a new owner whom we wish to bring here and introduce to you.”

He asked if there was a place where we could sit down to talk, and once we were seated (sprawled out) on our verandah chairs the intimidation started. “We expect you to co-operate with the new owner. We want the transition to go smoothly.” A particularly large individual added his piece, deep hatred glaring from his face, “If you don’t co-operate we will send our boys to you and you will be chased off without anything – not even your clothes. You will take nothing with you.”

Another man then asked me, “Do you know who I am?” I answered that I did not. He said, “I am mr *** (I can’t remember what his name was), and I can get people off their farms is two hours!” He held his two fingers up and repeated forcibly, “TWO HOURS!”

I had been rather quiet up to this point, but then gently replied, “Mr ***, I want to tell you something that I want you to hear.” “What is it?” he gruffly asked? Pointing my finger to him I said quietly, “I do not fear you, I only fear God. You and I will both die one day, and in our own shoes we will stand before God and answer to Him for what we have done in this life, you for your actions, and me for my response to those actions.”

That seemed to rattle him considerably.

With many other threats they left as fast as they had arrived, promising to return in the afternoon with the new owner to introduce to me.

When they came there were fewer of them and only two cars, and I had had time to get my composure. The man (his name is Philemon) asked me how much time I needed and I said, “Ideally six months to take me through the winter.” He replied that that was too long, so I asked him how much time he would give me, and he replied, “Three months”. I knew this was very gracious indeed in comparison with what other farmers had had, so I accepted. And in a matter of hours the deal was done and I had lost my farm, my lovely house and place of abode, with nowhere to go!

But the Lord had prepared me for this day. Over the past two years the Lord had been speaking to me very often about my own heart’s attitude, and much cleansing had taken place. The last three months or so, particularly, He had often put the thoughts in my heart that I was going to lose my farm, so I knew that a test was coming in my life and that He was expecting me, His child, to respond in the way He would. When the vehicles came racing in on Tuesday I knew immediately that the time had come. You see, there’s nothing that happens to us in this life that catches our Heavenly father by surprise. If we are His children He has our lives safely in His hands. If we listen to His voice, and do what He tells us, then there is no need to fear what man may do to us, nor to fear the future.

And what does He tell us to do when this type of thing happens to us? Are we willing to apply is words to our lives? Mat 5:44 “But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you, so that you may become sons of your Father in heaven…’”

Are these Jesus instructions to us or are they not! Why do I see so many Christians with such deep racial hatred and bitterness boiling inside them? Are we not to be sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, emanating His godly character. What witness do we portray if we respond with seething anger, In what sense are we better than the world?

When I met Philemon the next day he was still just as nervous as he had been the previous day – sitting on the very edge of his chair. I said to him, Philemon, as much as I have nowhere to go, and you have taken my life-long dream away from me in one day, I am not going to be bitter or angry with you. I want to bless you as you come onto this farm. I will assist you wherever I can. I want you to enjoy this farm as I have enjoyed it. He responded positively to that and gave me more amazing concessions. “You can take anything you want off the farm, and if you are willing to leave anything I will pay you for it,” he said. We shook hands and parted as friends.

The Scripture says that, “The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) We have to see the bigger picture and not hold so tightly onto the few earthly possessions that we have. Our Heavenly Father is well able to supply our needs, and if we hold onto earthly things with an open hand He is able to both take out and put in at His will. Not even a sparrow falls down without Him knowing it. Can He not supply my need for a home and a place to milk the cows? Of-course He can! Why then should I allow my heart to be filled with hatred for a man for whom Jesus died? Rather I would like to see this man and his violent friends brought into the kingdom. You will never win the racial hatred battle with hatred. It can only be won with love and forgiveness. The most powerful force in the world is love with humility. Did He not say, “The humble will inherit the earth!” Don’t underestimate to enormous power of simple humility – where we say, “Not my will but Yours be done.”

Of-course what they have done is illegal. I can win the case should I take it to court. But at what cost? With more hatred, with intimidation and violence against my workers, and terror to my dear wife! No, a farm is not worth that. I will not pursue a piece of land and thereby endanger and terrify my precious wife. She is worth far more than a farm.

As it stands right now I have nowhere to go. Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Where are you staying?” His reply was, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” I kind of feel that I am in good company ! But I have an absolute supernatural peace and confidence that my Heavenly Father has something much better for me than what I had. He is closing one door, only to open another much bigger door.

So to those who have heard about our farm grab. Please don’t on my account fan the flames of racial hatred and bitterness. Rather put your own trust completely in our dear Heavenly Father, and wait to see how wonderfully He is going to turn this situation for His glory !!

With special love to you all,

Henry Jackson

(Source: via email)