MY TIME IN THE GARDEN
One Good Friday, I was asked to help greet people at Madison Park Church's Journey to the Cross. Initially I was assigned to greet people as they arrived at the church. That assignment totally put me in a panic. As outgoing as might I seem to so many people, I totally freeze up inside with I am with a huge group of people. My face is a HUGE smile while inside I'm gasping for breath. Thankfully I was reassigned... to the "garden room". Yep, that's right, I was given the assignment to spend 3+ hours in the Garden of Gethsemane quietly greeting people at the door, giving them a booklet & a brief explanation of the experience, and then quietly talking with God until they completed their "garden experience", returned their booklets & exited the room.
Considering what my life has been like in the past 16-18 months, I could NOT have been assigned a more perfect spot. The peaceful setting of that room was like a healing ointment to my soul. In that quiet setting, I was able to reflect upon the anguish Christ had endured in his last days. And, I was reminded that nothing I ever experience will reach that level of anguish. My pain & suffering pales in comparison to what He experienced. Jesus was at the garden with some of his dearest friends who were doing their very best to support him in his time of need. Even with their presence there, Jesus had to surrender himself God's plan. A few times he had to wake his friends to ask for prayer. As said in Matthew 26:39, "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, 'O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.'" He sought the prayers of his friends once again and "... a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, 'O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." He woke his friends & sought their prayers again, walking away a third time to pray the same things again. Jesus, acknowledged and accepted his role in God's plan. His pain & suffering was not over but, his acceptance of the part he must play in God's plan must have brought that peace from God that passes all understanding.
What a peace I experienced that night in the Garden. What peace the Father has washed over me in the past days, weeks & months. What peace I have in knowing that God has placed some incredible Christian friends & prayer partners alongside. I'm so thankful that I understand that none of us can fully understand or experience the Easter morning "high" without the garden experiences.
Just a glimpse of me...
- Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!