Then he said, “I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods.” Luke 12:18 NLT
His one barn always seemed to be full.
One barn situated itself on my grandfather’s farm. I suppose one sufficed, since he was only a small farmer. He had enough money to build more, but chose to settle for only one.
And this red barn became one of the favorite places for my cousin and me to play. We pretended a monster lived in the barn, and we hid—or ran—from him. We plundered in the different rooms and stalls and looked at them as they brimmed with corn and soybeans. Some of the corn, my grandfather fed to his hogs; some he sold at market.
How the crops got into his barn, I never knew. He had no equipment that would have funneled it there. But, except for the winter months, the barn filled to overflow as my grandfather waited for the price to rise to what he wanted before he sold it. He wasn’t a wasteful man. In fact, some might have considered him cheap, but I suppose he was wise in many ways.
Also in the barn were snakes and rats. The snakes were there for the rats, and the rats were there for the crops. They couldn’t have ruined much of my grandfather’s crop, so he left them both there, hoping the snakes would take care of the rats.
Jesus knew something about full barns, too. He told a story of a man whose crop produced bountifully. So much so that his barns could not hold the crops. Unlike my grandfather, this man chose to build more barns. Then, he planned to sit back and take life easy … to eat, drink, and be merry for the rest of his years. What he didn’t know, or plan on, was that his death waited just around the corner. He stored, but didn’t plan well.
The rich man had two choices: hoard or share. God gives us time, talents, gifts, and possessions. He has expectations of us, but we have the same two choices the rich man had. I can open up my schedule and my hands to others and share, or I can close my fist and live life narcissistically. God won’t force me to do the first, and He will let me do the second—but not without consequence.
Life is better lived when we empty our barns into the lives of others. Think of something you can do to empty yours.
Prayer: Father, prompt us to empty our barns into the lives of others.
Tweetable: Are your barns full or empty?
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