I read something recently comparing the Garden of Eden with the Garden of Gethsemane.
The different men in them.
They were both wrestling.
When you read the beginning of Genesis, you don’t see the wrestle. But it’s there. It’s implied between the lines. If you’ve been walking in the garden with God, in freedom and love and trust, there is a wrestle to move away from that. How difficult the wrestle is sometimes depends on how long you’ve been walking with God, and how deeply you have believed Him.
The thought that God didn’t really have their best at heart must have been like a knife.
The thought that God was holding something out on them, or denying them something they hadn’t even thought to have asked. Painful.
To have the truth twisted just a little bit, turned a minute hair, and the wrestle was over.
The choice was made.
And then they saw, really saw.
Oh, I have lived so long wishing that my eyes had never lost their innocence! Wishing that different choices had been made. Wishing I had won my wrestlings, and thus stayed close to God.
How much regret and guilt and shame must have weighed Adam down.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, there was another wrestle. A hard fought one.
The thought of what God was asking Him to do must have been like a knife.
The thought that God might find another way to work out His purposes, yet be choosing Him to suffer. Painful.
Through the wrestle, maybe Jesus’ emotions cried out terribly to not even have to make a choice. Maybe He didn’t want to. I know there have been times when I have been forced to make a choice and all I have wanted to do was run away. But in the running, that is a choice as well.
I have lived with the agony of emotions torn apart.
Jesus did that night in His garden.
Jesus’ choice was made.
In His eating, He saw, really saw, the depths and the heights.
His eating took time. Painful, pain filled time. Torture, separation from His Father, death… but then, glorious resurrection!
In the Garden of Eden, Adam made a choice. It was a choice to believe the lies, and not God.
Adam chose unbelief.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus cried out, “Not my will but Your’s be done,” He made a choice. His choice was to believe the truth, believe His Father.
Jesus chose belief.
In our gardens of wrestling, where are we going to land?
Are we going to be in the right garden?
Am I going to be in the right garden with Jesus, crying out, “Not my will Father, but Your’s be done!” Or will I succumb to the lies and the subtle and not so subtle traps of the enemy in the wrong garden and tell God that I am going to do it my way, not His?
If I pick the second, I am choosing unbelief. That’s the start to all other sins. If I don’t believe God for something, I am going to try to fix it on my own, try to escape whatever is bothering me, and land myself in more sin and trouble.
If I pick the first, I am choosing to believe my Living God. Actively believing God means trusting Him with my all. Me. My life. My family. My job. My church. My future. All of it is in His hands. His plans are the best for me.
That active belief produces life altering peace like nothing else I have ever experienced.
I want to always end up in the right garden, the Garden of Gethsemane.
Yes, it was filled with pain. Yes, it was filled with tears. Yes it was filled with wrestling, sweating to the point of blood. Horrid wrenching emotions, nearly leading to despair.
But it is a Garden filled with God.
It is a Garden in which I can walk with Him.
It is a Garden I can be free and unashamed…. Even unashamed of the emotions the wrestling has pulled out of me.
It is the right Garden.
The Garden of Belief.