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Our nation’s Gethsemane

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Over the past couple of weeks, I have found that I am visiting my garden earlier and earlier in the morning hours. Prior to June, my routine included visiting my garden well after my morning activities of devotion time and working out. I intentionally waited to visit the garden after our morning walk so that it added to our steps on the pedometer and because it gave me something to look forward to while I am cooling down from our brisk stride around the neighborhood. I love seeing what the new day brings each morning when I walk through the garden.

Since June arrived, the temperatures have increased. When I decide to work in the garden during the early mornings, I am not met with sweat dripping from my nose while I am pulling weeds. It seems logical that I would change my routine a bit because the cooler temperatures are in the early morning. Changes to hotter temperatures should draw you to the garden.

When the heat is on, more things are changing in the garden. Gardens need the sun and the water from our rains. In the early morning, it is as if the plants are welcoming the morning as new blooms peek open and plant stems stand taller.

I write about the garden so much because the garden environment teaches me so much. It is said that a garden is one of the most popular metaphors for life. I understand why. Gardens are places of development, change, newness, freshness, opportunity, discovery and peace. Gardens are also places of birthing pains, heartbreak, pestilence, struggle, adversity, challenge, frustration, perplexing unearthing and hard work.

While I was watching the sun come up in the garden, I thought, “Oh, I better hurry up because it is about to get hot.” But then a revelation came to mind. When things get hot, we should run to the garden even the more. Yes, the hotter things get, the more we will begin to see the fruit we are expecting in the garden. That is a natural observation.

The hotter things get in our environments should make us run to Gethsemane. I have written about this in the past. Our Gethsemane is a place of personal surrender. Gethsemane is not just any garden. It is an inferno because it is intense. Can you picture a fiery garden? If not, you have not read about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26).

It is said that wood ash provides special nutrients that fertilize the plants in your garden. Just as it does in humans, potassium regulates plants’ water balance and has a part in transporting food within the plant and creating sugars and starches. Without enough potassium, vegetables are more vulnerable to drought, frost, pests and diseases.

When there is a fire going on in your life, you need evidence of ash in your Gethsemane. When there is a fire in your life, your prayer life needs to be fervent. The intensity of your circumstances is reason to be in the garden because the things that burn away in the inferno will create ash for your garden that will ensure that fruit in your garden will not be met by pestilence and destruction.

Now more than ever, we need people praying to intercede in the nation’s Gethsemane. Our nation is in need of regulation and the ash that needs to fall to the ground will help to ensure the ripe and successful production for future generations to come. Join me in the garden before sunrise, because our social environment is getting hotter. The hotter it gets, the more we need to be on our knees in the garden. Every gardener knows that the real work happens when you’re on your knees.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via QNikki_Notes or iamquawanna@thebiggerme.net.