In the garden
Reading a Lenten devotional this morning by shereadstruth.org when I made a discovery! I never realized that an angel came and ministered to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. (Luke 22:43-44).
As I picture Jesus there, weeping in the garden, I am stunned by his humanity. I am saddened by the sin that put him there. Enraged at the sin that forced him to face separation from His Father. Sickened by the sin of countless generations past and future. Our sin. …My sin.
I am reminded of how often I want to be rescued from difficulty and in many ways I feel entitled to the deliverance–well I am a daughter of the King after all! But the Father didn’t rescue His own son…who was without sin! And I realize He doesn’t always take the cup of suffering away. He will send strength to endure just as He sent the angel to Jesus in the garden.
Maybe that’s grace too. Grace empowers us to face the firey test with, what a dear friend of mine calls, “double-fisted faith.” Double-fisted faith says, I know my God is able to deliver me, but even if He doesn’t, I will not bow! I will not abandon Him for He will not abandon me! (See the story of the 3 Hebrew boys in Daniel 3).
The point is that the world is fallen and although our citizenship is in heaven our current location is Earth. Here in this mess of a garden, we will face hardships. Here, as we walk in the tensions of these two worlds we can experience a unique fellowship with Him in the suffering. And He promises that after we have suffered with Him we will reign with Him.
Be brave dear ones. Have Faith. May He give you grace upon grace!
(And check out shereadstruth.org!)