We are reminded in this Passion week of God’s great love in Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book, It’s Not Supposed to Be this Way, where she talks about living between two gardens. When Eden was created, we see in Genesis 1:12 that God said, “it was good”, in fact, it was perfect in His eyes. A garden that was a true paradise. A garden where both God and man walked (Genesis 3:8). Then sin entered and the peace and perfection were gone. With sin came loneliness, sadness, pain, disease, confusion, injustice, depression and death.
Revelation 21:3-5 says “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” All of creation is restored. Eden is restored - a paradise once again.
Right now, we find ourselves living between those two gardens. The in-between space of what was and what is to come. It is a temporary middle space that God can use to grow our faith and make us more like him. More often than not, the greatest growth comes from the greatest difficulties. Difficulties that undoubtedly bring feelings of disappointment, fear, anxiety or a host of other emotions. It may be where you find yourself now in the midst of a virus that is claiming lives and causing economic uncertainties. It is times like this when we realize there is nothing in this world that can satisfy us, keep us safe, or meet the deepest longing in our hearts. The world is not capable of that. Not yet, but Revelation 21 has good news.
If you have ever listened to Paul Harvey, you know his famous tagline, “Now you know the rest of the story.” Revelation 21 gives us the rest of the story. It gives us encouragement as we realize God wins - everything is made new. Knowing the rest of the story helps us when our feelings and our surroundings want us to doubt our faith in God. We can choose to firmly plant our hope and faith in the creator who empties himself out for us, knowing that He will make all things right and all things new. Once everything is made new, we will enjoy the garden as it was meant to be - a perfect paradise where we can walk with the One who created us and loves us.
This Week: During this Holy Week (also known to some as Passion Week), spend time reflecting upon God’s great love for you demonstrated on the cross. Press into living the life you are called to because of the hope and certainty you have in the future. A life of radical sacrificial love. A life filled with peace.