Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Enter the Garden - Martin Wiles

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.” Matthew 26:39 NKJV

My garden could be the most enticing or the most forbidding place.

The love for dirt between my fingers was instilled in me by my grandfather and mother. Nothing gave me more joy than tilling the soil, planting the seed, and watching it produce. But there were a couple of things that could have kept me from the garden. 

Everywhere I had a garden also had a nasty reputation for snakes—rattlers, moccasins, and copperheads. Reaching down to pick fruit from a vegetable bush was a risky endeavor. The other culprit was bees, attracted by the blooms on the vegetables and silks on the corn. Since I’m allergic to bees, breaking corn and picking beans was risky as well.

Yet my fear didn’t keep me from the garden. Jesus also entered a garden…and one that caused him fear. The Garden of Gethsemane was the garden where he would be arrested by jealous Jewish authorities and hauled before a Roman ruler. This same garden was where he expressed his fear to the Father—his fear of bearing the world’s sin. 

A number of fears have haunted me. As a youngster, it was darkness. I’ve still not completely conquered that one. As a teen, it was the fear of not fitting in. As I got older, I stopped caring about this one. 

And then there was the fear of following God’s call wherever it took me. With God’s assistance, I conquered that one in spite of the challenges and disappointments. What’s left is the fear of the big one—death. 

God doesn’t intend for fear to paralyze me. Jesus experienced fear and can guide me through any I face: loneliness, childrearing, unemployment, financial crises. Regardless of what he allows me to pass through, I have no reason to fear that fear will overtake me. 

Perfect love—which God gives, casts out all fear as it did for Jesus. I can move ahead confidently, knowing he’ll provide what’s necessary for anything before me. Jesus momentarily feared, but he accepted God’s will. I’m learning to do the same. 

Face your fears. God will provide what you need to overcome them.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the courage You give that helps us face and overcome our fears.

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