In The Garden, by Joan of
The Beauty In His Grip
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to work in the garden. It was a beautiful, warm spring day. The sun was shining overhead and the heady scent of our neighbor’s orange tree blossoms floated on the breeze. Earlier in the day I had purchased some annuals to add to my flower bed and I was excited to plant them. As I dug my hands into the earth, and felt the coolness of the freshly turned soil between my fingers, I sensed a sudden closeness with the Lord. His love enveloped me and praises filled my heart. That happens often when I am in the garden. It is as if the rest of the world, with all its cares and worries, slips away leaving just the two of us to share in an intimate moment together.
I can’t help but notice the parallel between tending a garden and our relationship with the Lord. In order for both to thrive, we need to spend some time on our knees, giving them the attention they require. A garden should be watered and fed and loved in order to survive. The more we spend time tending our garden, the more it grows and the more beautiful it becomes. But, when we ignore it and fail to feed it, weeds will grow and begin to choke out the beauty that once was there. It is the same with our relationship with Christ. When we spend time with the Lord and give our relationship the proper nurturing, it will flourish. Our budding faith will blossom and produce an abundance of fruit for His glory. If ignored, even a long-standing relationship can begin to wither and fade.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me”
And so, as we stay in His garden, the Lord will join us and our hearts will open, blossoming under His tender care. Daily reading of His Word, praying and praising Him will continue to deepen the bond between us and our faith will grow with each moment spent with Him.
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong” (Ephesians 3:17).
As I continued to kneel in my garden I was reminded of the old hymn “In the Garden”. Charles Austin Miles writes that in the garden,
He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.”
The hymnist says it well. As we tarry with the Lord, we will find a joy never known before. Our growing relationship will become a blessing beyond anything we have ever experienced. Where thorns once were, new life will grow. And when properly tended, it will flourish into an everlasting love. The profound words of this beautiful hymn never fail to move my heart. After all, that’s where God’s love first began…in the garden.