Friday Devotional: The Two Gardens
We have nearly reached the end of this fall semester. It’s hard to believe how fast these semesters go. If you are like me, you are feeling a little worn out from all the work of the semester, victories and the challenges of serving as an officer and the responsibilities with school.
Deep within our hearts, we have a longing to be done, to be finished so that we can just rest. I believe that this longing can be summed up in looking at the two gardens in Scripture.
First, the original garden, the garden of Eden. God creates light and darkness, sky and land, fruits and vegetables, sun and the moon, all the creatures on land and in the sea, and finally man and woman in his own image. In Genesis 1:31 He says, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”
This is the longing in my heart: The state of perfect harmony where all that is around is very good. My delight is in the Lord and my total dependence is on the Lord. There is no pain, no suffering and no tired hands. God promises that this state of harmony will one day return.
Unfortunately, the fall of man in Genesis 3 fractures the perfection of God’s creations and we are left with the other garden, the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22:39. In this garden, we find all too often the state of my heart lining up with Jesus’ disciples.
Jesus and his disciples arrive at the garden and what proceeds is one of the most intense moments of prayer in Jesus life. Jesus tells his disciples to wait here and “pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Jesus leaves and prays so fervently that His sweat became like drops of blood. When He arose and went back to the disciples, He finds them sleeping.
I am afraid that more times than not, I am the one sleeping and not fervently praying as Jesus did. The state of my heart longs for the Garden of Eden and the reality of my heart is mired in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is the reality in which we all find ourselves.
Thankfully, God is gracious towards us. 2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.”
Jesus knows that we are weak. He knows that we are like His disciples. What He wants is for us to come humbly to Him and recognize that He is sufficient and that we can’t do it by ourselves. The recognition that He has paid it all, and all to Him I owe.
This is the Gospel and we must choose to believe in the truth of the Gospel each day so that we can have a small glimpse of the fervent prayer that Jesus experienced in the Garden and, to a certain degree, leave behind the sleepiness of the disciples. We won’t be able to experience it to the fullest until God’s promise comes to fruition, but we can hope to experience a deeper unity with Christ and with our brothers.