I have heard the phrase “life between two gardens” explained a few different ways. But when I think about how this applies to me, it strikes me as being that Journey between the two Gardens: Eden and the Grave (the one where Jesus’ body laid in the tomb).
Eden was the place where life began, yet it is well-known for its introduction to death as well. That all-perfect haven was turned upside down when Adam and Eve decided they knew better than the GOD that loved and created them in His image.
We really don’t know how long the first couple lived in harmony with GOD before the fall. All we know is that one moment they’re enjoying the perfection of all that GOD had provided for them and the next they’re searching for fig leaves to cover up their sins.
The garden that held the virgin tomb that Jesus’ lifeless body laid in for three days was known as the burial site, but it is also the place where Christians rejoice because of the life that emerged from it on that third day.
My B.C. life (before Christ) was that Eden experience. While it was not birthed in perfection, it was the place of my birth and where I set foot on this planet.
This place I’m in now — this place between my two gardens — is my Journey. It is my walk and journey with Christ and it’s known as Life. Good and bad times it’s mine to walk and experience.
My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! James 1:2 The Passion Translation
The Amplified Translation uses the word, ‘trials.’ For whatever reason, my brain speaks: ‘trails’ to me — the trail calls me to remember the Journey.
Hang in there with me for just a bit longer …
It’s in the Journey — sometimes it feels like a Walk in the Wilderness — can I get an ‘Amen?’ Seriously, the wilderness isn’t always a desert or a torrential storm. However, that wilderness is the expanse of time where I am in closest communion with the Lord. It’s that space in time that Jesus is ever-real to me. Ideally, that should be on a daily breath-to-breath basis. But I’ll admit to wandering off to be alone with my own thoughts … not a good idea!
This Journey is where I’m learning from the Master — Who He is and who I am. And the best part is that I am learning as I am becoming who I was designed to be (the original blueprint).
The trail is indeed full of trials — I call those disappointments, failures, setbacks — I’m sure you have your own similar list. But what I do IN those trials is based on what I have learned from the previous trials. The more I ‘practice’ those GOD-ordained better choices and lean into His Strength, the better my experiences on the Journey. Some trials become less intense, injurious or regretful the second time around. Some I actually do thank GOD for the experience — later, much later.
For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. James 1:3 The Passion Translation
Along this Journey the Holy Spirit empowers me to keep going — especially when I want to just roll over and call it quits. Many, many times I’ve wanted to just hide from the world and pray that it would all go away. But GOD in His infinite love and wisdom allows me to grow as I continue to go through each journey trail.
This endurance exercise — it’s not like working out at the gym, where you know the exact timeline of your task. This is an endurance test of varying proportions and depending on what GOD has in store for you, it may last weeks, months, years … we don’t have the advantage of knowing when that last minute will tick on the test. But we do know Who is there fueling us for it.
- What are you presently encountering on your Journey?
- Are you taking advantage of the time you have to commune with GOD about the experiences along the trail?
- Do you feel like déjà vu most of the time and wonder why GOD allows for you to repeat or relive certain experiences?
And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking. James 1:4 The Passion Translation
I love the way The Passion Translation says this! This seems to breathe hope into every messy situation I encounter along my Journey. The spiritual muscle-building exercises are not in vain. GOD’s love for me is real and is evident in His protection and mercy over me.
The seasons ahead of me — far off on my Journey that they’re not even visible to me right now — I will meet up with them. And they with me. But I will not be alone and I will have learned from previously taken steps. It is my prayer that I will walk slow enough to see and hear with clarity — the Voice of He Who is comforting me throughout our Journey together. I don’t want to rush through it, as I wanted to do in my 20’s — mistakenly thinking that life would be ‘easier’ as I got older.
Actually, Friend, the challenges of life become more complicated as you get older. And if you don’t heed the Wisdom found in the Word of GOD, you are most certainly going to ‘repeat those lessons‘ that you least likely want to revisit.
I want to invite you to think about what is heaviest on your heart and mind at this very moment. Take it to the Lord — right where you are — bruised and scraped knees, bloody palms and knuckles, smeared makeup and messy hair, broken heart and fractured dreams — all of it. Drop it all in the middle of the road and have a serious one-to-One with Jesus and let it flow so you can grow.
You will find that your Journey will be much sweeter — not necessarily smoother — when you realize you don’t travel alone and that it is all going to work for the good to those who love GOD.
Hopefully when I set my tootsies into that last Garden, I will have left a legacy for those coming up behind me that will empower their own Journey.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary