For the past few months, the Lord has been walking me through a garden. He gave me a vision of us walking hand-in-hand in a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing garden with millions of vibrant flowers to our sides and behind us. I look in front of us and see millions more flowers, but this time they’re dead and wilted. As we’re walking along the garden, the flowers in front of us and to our side begin to come alive and He says “My child, I am breathing new life, and I am making all things new.”
Right now, we’re dwelling in a temporary middle space between two gardens. We’re in between the fallen garden of Eden and the restored garden of Eden; waiting to walk hand-in-hand with the Lord in a garden where there’s no more death. No more heartbreak. No more disappointments. No more suffering. No more disease. Only reverence for the goodness of God.
Revelation 22:1-5 says
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”
The Bible begins set in the first garden of Eden, but it ends in the restored Eden in the last chapters of Revelation, which says:
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “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!” (21:3-5)
The harsh realities and pains of this fallen world aren’t the end. They’re a temporary middle space. A middle space in which our wounds will become weapons. Our afflictions expand our Kingdom assignments. Our disappointments build an endurance that cannot be shaken.
As Lysa Terkeurst says, “In this restored garden of Eden the curse will be lifted and perfection will greet us like a long-lost best friend. We won’t be hurt. We won’t live hurt. We won’t be disappointed and we won’t live disappointed.
There will be no corruption of God’s nurture. There will be no contrary notions about why God allows things to happen. And there will be no gnawing fear that things might not turn out okay. We won’t need to wrestle well because we will be well. Whole. Healed. Complete. Assured. Secure. Certain. Victorious. And brought full circle in our understanding of truth.”
What a promise to fall back onto.
In the middle of crushing pains of this temporary middle space, remind yourself of the glorious future that is to come. Perfect peace. Joy that’s never ceasing. Laughter that’s never ending. Healing that is unmatched.
And in this temporary middle space, remember that you have Kingdom assignments bigger than your wounds.
I can rest assured that my dad is no longer in the temporary middle space between two gardens. He’s not wrestling anymore. He’s not weary anymore. He’s not tired anymore. He is whole. He is healed. He is flooded with a joy that’s no longer fleeting and a healing that’s no longer dependent on doctors. No more blood disorder. No more diabetes. No more lymphedema. No more dialysis three times a week. No more blood transfusions. No more sorrow from missing his son. No more living a life without being able to hug his parents. Only whole, pure, and complete healing. The healing he’s longed for since his first diagnosis 50 years ago.
Jesus promised my dad just like He promised me and you that He has prepared a place for him. He has welcomed him home with the words we all long to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
I’m typing this as I sit in a coffee shop with tears filling my eyes to the point where I can barely see the screen. Not because I’m sad, but because the joy that I have that he’s finally home is incomparable to any joy that I’ve felt before. He’s lived a life of longsuffering for an unfair amount of time, and made more hospital visits in a month every month for the past few decades than most people do in their lifetime.
I rest assured knowing that the Lord looked at my dad in his sleep Wednesday night and said “My son, it’s time to bring you home.”
I have to learn to live the rest of my life without a dad, but because of Jesus Christ, this is only a temporary middle space. Someday I’ll get him forever.
But until then, while I’m still residing in this life between two gardens, I will tell the world of the goodness of God, making His name known among the nations while carrying the legacy of my dad with me along the way knowing he is cheering me on and is proud of my every move.
Dad, I love you forever, but I’ll only miss you for a lifetime.
See you soon.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” – John 11:25-26