Did you ever notice that you only get irritated at seeing a police car when you are speeding? That little accusing voice usually rises to the surface when I am late for work. I think: "Now why do they have to be here now?? Yet, how glad I would be if one showed up when I needed one! Kind of like when God is whispering in our minds to do a certain thing we know will be uncomfortable or difficult. Asking forgiveness, praying for someone who has wronged us.....We rise up, thinking of reasons why not...."Well, he said, but they...." And God waits patiently for us to see His side of things.
Why did God start us out in a garden and not someplace that looked like Wallstreet? Broadway? Maybe because He knew it would be easier to find Him there. Maybe He knew it would remind us of where we came from....dust. There is a little saying about gardens that I find to be true, "We are nearer to God's heart in a garden than anyplace else on earth." Go here for full poem.
It is easy to feel the breath of God when you are close to growing things. The morning dew reminds us of the manna that fell in the wilderness....God's provision in the desert. Dealing with stubborn weeds that threaten to choke out the life that we have so carefully cultivated reminds us of the stubborn sins that so easily rob us of sweet communion with God.
My grandfather loved growing things. Though he died of stomach cancer when I was around two, I feel very close to him. Everyone says that he had a very kind spirit, and he loved his garden...and his God very much.
My one and only memory of him is holding me in his arms next to the grape arbor. I remember a white trellis and little green grapes. I hold it close against my heart. His favorite hymn was "In the Garden" I imagine him walking with God in the cool of the evening, even now. Someday Grandpa, I will be walking with you. I can't wait to meet you....