Pottering in the Garden by Ruth Johnson
|The view from our bedroom window|
"...God created man in His own image….male and female He created them.” Gen.1:27
“They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…” Gen.3:8
We were created to have a relationship with the Father God, He's the gardener of my heart and continues to speak to me on that theme!
Two weeks ago we stayed at a resort near Paris modeled on different villages in France. Our town house was in Giverny where three houses were joined to replicate Monet’s house and garden. A day at Versailles astounded us by the sheer number, extent and magnificence of the beautifully manicured formal gardens. At Monet’s house and gardens we admired the reality of his paintings that so vividly captured the overflowing flower beds and the incredible array of different sized plants that interweaved bringing a riot of colour and size.
Both gardens were a joy to behold despite being so opposite. I reflected on the lives of those who had enjoyed them. Versailles with its order, lives mapped with responsibility, the clear vision ruling and reigning. Monet's appeared to have little or no order, embraced freedom in a wild array of creativity, with a vision framed by the talented artist who painted it.
What does my ‘spiritual’ garden, say about me? A walled kitchen garden, devoid of crops in a fallow 7th year according to the Biblical edict to the Jews! The first year of my husband’s retirement enjoying simple things with no planting or plans in mind. It was an extraordinary confirmation to discover the 49th year in the Jewish calendar was just ending, and interesting that just beginning is the 50th year which God decreed should be one of Jubilee. It was another fallow year with the need to depend on His provision and blessing, but too a time of restoration, and liberty for His people. Lev.25:8-11.
On closer inspection I've seen my 'spiritual' garden's neat and empty beds have tiny weeds. And away from the sun insidious bind weed creeps across the earth. How quickly weeds grow. Ps.24 speaks of clean hands and pure hearts. Paul writes about the need to renew our minds. James about curbing our tongues. It's so easy to slip into exaggeration, gossip, even lies. Were the weeds my words? Knowing nothing of this a friend unexpectedly pointed out several instances where I’d not spoken the truth. Eg my declaration that a prayer meeting had been a waste of time. I may have felt that, but know God didn’t!
Centuries ago God in the garden decreed man’s authority over the earth, Jesus said with faith the size of a mustard seed we could decree a mountain fall into the sea. If I want the crop of God's truth planted in my life to produce His harvest, to walk in His authority, speak with His integrity and write with His wisdom then I need to hand Him a rake to ensure that before the next planting no tare grows with the wheat.