Walking in the Garden With God

“For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.”

Isaiah 61:11

It is amazing watching nature come to life with springtime colors so glorious, dazzling, and vibrant, they almost take your breath away. Sparrows wake us from our slumber, singing morning melodies to their babies. What joy they bring! Spring is that hopeful reminder that God can make all things new again. The Song of Solomon 2:11-12 talks about the season of beauty and splendor. “Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.”

My husband has learned to save his cash purchasing fresh flowers, and simply pass the cash to me. Oh, he knows he doesn’t actually save any money, but he gets to make me happy. You see it is a win-win, he gets a happy wife and I get flowers in my decorative pots. I have never been a big fan of fresh flowers that are soon drying and dying. While I would much rather sweat teaching my fitness classes, the sacrifice of sweat, dirt, and grime, is worth it for beautiful flowers in the spring and fall. It is like walking in the garden with God’s beauty.

The planting part is really no fun for me. I would prefer decorating the inside of my home and rearranging furniture while repurposing past purchases that have made their way to our storage room. It is awesome watching my husband swallow his tongue when I tell him I didn’t spend any money. I even retrieved two of his favorite Charles Frace animal prints and hung them up. This made him very happy.

Last week I was back in the garden planting and ruining my nails. It was worth it to see the magnificent beauty of God’s flowers. The fresh air, smell of potting soil, and the vision of fabulous flowers, sends my creativity to new heights! Just a warning, not every idea is the brightest. I got the bright idea to remove our very tall, thick, unattractive and out of shape, ornamental grass. The grass, once beautiful and a nice addition to the garden, had become an eyesore, hiding the three lovely bushes standing to its rear.

My husband and I have gone back and forth over the tall grass for years. He said he loves the swaying back and forth motion like it is dancing in the garden. Oh, I like to see the dance, but not to steal the show from other worthy flowering plants. You know, like the one child at the dance recital, craving and demanding all the attention. Naturally, she is placed directly in front of your child. But I digress. It appeared the tall grass had become the home of some large animal, leaving it oblong, out of shape, and overgrown, the sad scars of a shattered life.

Our sinful nature could be compared to our once beautiful ornamental grass. God created us to bring out His colors to the world. We are here to be the light of Christ, not the star of the show. We are here to make Jesus famous by sharing with others the MIRACLE he has done in us. When we shine His colors, we take the spotlight off us, and place it where it needs to be, on Him! If we knowingly continue to sin, or always want the attention, we become very unattractive to others.

“When I refused to confess my sin,

My body wasted away,

And I groaned all day long.

Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.

My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you

And stopped trying to hide my guilt.

I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’

And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”

Psalm 32:3-5

The ugly misshaped grass had to go! I tackled it with a shovel. Digging, and digging, and digging. Thank goodness it had rained and softened the ground a little. I chopped awhile, then jumped on the shovel. No wonder my foot is sore! After an hour, I realized I needed to cut it in half. I had dug eighteen inches down and was finally able to finagle the roots enough to pull it out. Sin, I mean the ornamental grass is hard to pull out of your garden! What an ordeal! And it was an even bigger ordeal chucking it up in the farm truck. Heavvvy!

My husband came home and didn’t say a word, crickets. I’m beginning to think his loyalty to the long ornamental grass was laced to not digging it up. Oh well, it’s on the burn pile now!

My husband did speak to the grand children on Resurrection Sunday about our decisions in life. He said some things are the same as they were when Jesus was on the cross. Like the thieves on each side of Him, we must make a decision about Jesus. Not who our parents or friends say, but a personal decision about Jesus.

One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong. Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43

Do not allow the soft spot at the center of your heart to be hardened by sin, where even a spade or shovel cannot pry it from your life. Instead, in the cool of the evening, take a walk in the garden with God, and discover the victorious and vibrant colors of our future heavenly home.

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