The sign at the entrance read “Hortvs Gethsemani” and inside was a beautiful garden, very peaceful. Its calm and silence almost deceiving from the bustle of tourists and pilgrims outside its walls. Where Jesus went before facing his crucifixion in a way is like the calm that comes before the storm. Looking back now on my experience and Jesus’ time there, Gethsemane was more than just a garden with trees and rocks.
It’s a place of earnest prayer
It’s a place of travail
It’s a place of struggle with death
It’s a place of aloneness with God
It’s a place of isolation, anguish and distress
It’s a place of surrender to God’s will
It’s a place of strength and boldness
Life includes Gethsemane experiences. In more ways than one, this pandemic has been our communal Gethsemane. Some are calm in the eye of the storm, awaiting devastation. Some have already experienced it. Some feel weighed down by all news covid related. Some gain strength and faith.
Whether we like it or not, at some point in our lives our Gethsemane will come. Prepare for it and remain in it until peace comes. The challenge is in how we face it.
Face it with courage
Face it with faith over fear
Face it with an expectation of blessing
Face it with belief over failure
Face it with strength
Face it with love
If you are in a personal Gethsemane, be encouraged. Just as it had a beginning, it too will have an end. Every Gethsemane leads to a resurrection, but not before it leads to a cross.