In the Garden

The Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus prayed on the night of His betrayal and arrest (Mark 14:32-50).

According to the record in Luke, Jesus’ despair in Gethsemane was so deep that He sweat drops of blood (Luke 44-22:43).

“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed.” (Matthew 37-26:36)

If we continue reading throughout The Gospels we will land at the very betrayal that was sealed with a kiss of Jesus by his friend and disciple, Judas.

In the next moments, the view shifts to Peter. Peter having seen everything, draws his sword and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

I grew up in an abundantly female environment but now that has flipped in my own home and our daughter and I are outnumbered. Within the dominance of a male atmosphere, the term “that’s gross” actually becomes life changing y’all. It means run, don’t look, don’t breathe, and mostly – I really don’t want to know.

So as a woman I read this and think “Oh, Peter trying to hurt him”. No. No. No. This is Peter with a warning of game on, the war has begun because this is unjust and wrong! All out war is being waged.

In the face of injustice, Peter gets angry.

In the face of injustice, Peter is ready to go to war for Jesus. But in that very moment of intensity and emotion, Jesus acts out only in profound love. He heals the ear of one of the men who have come to take part in leading Him to His death. So the challenge becomes this – Peter, I (we) aren’t going to win the war like this. We aren’t going to be powerful in unjust moments with anger and strife.

The distraction of injustice – the very distraction of much of our culture and world right now. Please don’t misunderstand me, much IS unjust. What happened in the garden WAS wrong, dark, painful, terribly wrong.

But can I whisper the sweetest secret – OUR GOD HAS A PLAN. Is it whispering if it’s in all caps? JESUS HAS A PLAN.

As believers, we have got to get to a place where we understand battle and war. For such a time as this, in Spirit and Truth – in His way, that seems so unnatural to us in our flesh but is a part of His plan. To practice His pause and ask Him for His Truth and His way –

Is this how we win this battle?

Is this very thing what you are asking me to do?

Am I to say this?

Am I to write this?

Is this what we are doing?

To be sons and daughters with heart postures set to NOT mess with His plan and story. Ohhhh, to be careful that we aren’t on the wrong side fighting for the right thing.

For many injustice is a distraction. We will get distracted. We will see things and maybe even look at things, things that are right. But it all must remain our second gaze and another focus. We have to stay fixated on Jesus. Locked on Him. Focused on Him. Gazing on Him. Always first. Always our main. After we can choose injustice, if we so choose. But if injustice is our first choice, we will die on that mountain instead of being present for what God is doing.

Battle and War – the good thing will always be the enemy of the God thing and His right thing in our life. It isn’t and won’t always be right vs. wrong – is this God, or is this not God? It can and will sometimes be – if these are both good, what is the God thing?

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