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.

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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...

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