Two Gardens



But Jesus answered by saying to them, "You don't know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?" "Oh yes," they replied, "we are able!"-Matthew 20:22 (NLT)

This is what the Sovereign LORD, your God and Defender, says: "See, I have taken the terrible cup from your hands. You will drink no more of my fury.- Isaiah 51:22 (NLT)


He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."-Matthew 26:39 (NLT)

For some reason, my husband and I noticed that since we removed the grasses from our lawns and replaced them with gravel, the incidence of neighbors’ dogs pooping had gone down to “zilch”. I remembered those times when my husband would come home, tired from a long day’s work, only to find out that he needed to clean a mess that someone else left with no regard to what was done. It became annoying but we couldn’t do anything since we couldn’t catch who was responsible for letting their pets pooped in the front yard.

I did enjoy the sight of green grasses and sort of miss it sometimes. I enjoyed mowing the yard weekly.  It was fun during those times not until the front yard became the habitat for those unwanted droppings.

The gravel might not be as colorful as the grasses and seemed like a bore at times, but despite the monotonous appearance, it was a delight to see it always poop-free. I started enjoying it more and it actually gave me more time to do other things, than mowing the lawn. Week. After. Week.

The trial I had been in at my work felt like the same. In the beginning, it had been fun and exciting to do a nursing job completely different from the hospital setting. The pay was better. Lifting patients was not known. One fact that helped me avoid hurting my neck, already injured. Until people in prominent positions allowed their pride to leave messes in this place. The air stank. From all the discrimination and harassment subtly done. Not to all. Only to certain nurses. One of them was me.

I knew from day one when they gave me a hard time about my history of disability, that it was a mess I couldn’t clean alone. I knew it was only those Scarred Hands Who could take over this matter. And while they took away my regular position and thought I could be suffering, changing my position did not bother me. I accepted that. Not from them. I accepted that because of Him. I accepted that through that change He allowed, I would be given this opportunity to grow stronger. To develop strength. To grow in character. If I was contented before, the more contentment I had knowing that He alone could give and could take away.

This morning, I saw two gardens.

The Garden of Eden.

image from visualbiblealive.com
And the Garden of Gethsemane. 

While the first one was known to be a paradise, men made a mess there. And the latter, despite the agony, still prayed for the Father’s will to be done, not what He wanted, knowing that His suffering would become the redemption for everyone’s messes.

What garden or yard are you in at this time? Are you in a beautiful, comfortable place but deep inside, you know that there is a lot of mess that surround you? Or are you in this boring and ugly place but know deep inside that there is an eternal treasure that awaits? Jesus was willing to take that cup of suffering for us and never gave up, and now, He has been inviting us to drink from that cup. To suffer for His cause. But in reality, offers those who are willing to partake a cup of joy and eternal bliss.

Yes...This Man...Jesus...God and Man...


3 comments:

  1. A good post...sort of an awakening....I am not blind to the mess around me...but the Lord helps me to also see the beauty in it. If and when I have to drink from the cup of suffering ... I am assured my strength
    will come from Him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank God for what He did for us. He is our hope. Blessings ~

    ReplyDelete

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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends