In The Garden

         In the garden that our Lord God planted
God placed Adam after He breathed life into him.  Adam lived in a garden like no other. Its
grandeur cannot be duplicated by an artist or by wondrous words of an
author.  Genesis 2:8 simply says
Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the
east, and there he placed the man he had made
         God, the Magnificent, the Infinite, the
Eternal, the Faithful, the Creator, planted a garden, no man except Adam would
see.  Genesis 2 describes the rivers in
Eden for watering the Garden, and the towering trees.  In verse 19, God gives Adam a job. 
So the Lord
God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky.
He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a
name for each one.

         What is a garden to you?  What is a garden to God?  A garden is a backdrop of God’s peace in our
souls. Each of us, at one time or another love to watch rivers flow, growing
plants, towering trees, and even more delightful, our children. As a teenager,
gardening was drudgery for me.  So many
weeds grew, threatening to choke out the produce.  It is a picture of how the world threatens to
choke out the fruit that believing in Jesus brings into our lives. 
         In today’s culture we are taught to go
to the grocery store and purchase the foods we would have grown, a generation
or two back in time.  This is a photo of
my Dad intently hoeing and my Grandma Suderman bent over tending to the backyard
         In my childhood, we were taught to
plant, harvest and preserve the food we would eat.  When I asked my Mother why she gardened, she
explained to me that every spring her fingers itched to be ‘in the dirt’.  She loved to grow beautiful flowers to bring
to the ‘old people’ she visited, until she was past 80 years old.  I remember the Siemens Cellar in Watonga, with shelves lined with jars of canned
home grown vegetables and fruit.
         What is in a garden?  What makes growing things such a gift to our
souls?  It is the peace of God!  Long ago when the people of Israel were taken
captive, God sent a message to His People, through Jeremiah the prophet. 
sent a letter here to Babylon, predicting that our captivity will be a long
one. He said, ‘Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food
they produce. 
Jeremiah 29:28.
         How often while gardening, we become
tired, hot, and wipe the sweat from our eyes, looking up?  And for a moment we drink in the silence and
the grandeur of the heavens and we are still. 
The words reverberate in our hearts and minds, 
“Be still, and know that I am God!  I
will be honored by every nation.
will be honored throughout the world.”
         How were the lyrics of the hymn, In the Garden, written? It was 1912, in
a windowless basement room, Austin Miles reached for his Bible. It fell open to
John 20.  It is the description of Mary
Magdalene searching for Jesus.  She went
to the entrance of the tomb and saw the stone had been rolled away and the tomb
empty.  She found Simon Peter, and
announced, “They took the Lord’s body away, and we don’t know where it could
be!”  She looked in the tomb and saw two white-robed
angels who asked why she cried.  “They
took away my Lord and I don’t know where they have taken Him.”  She saw a gardener standing near by and
asked, “Sir, tell me where you have put Jesus and I will go get Him.”  It is then the gardener said one word, “Mary”,
and she knew, “Rabboni!” She had seen Jesus and ran to tell the disciples she
had seen The Savior — alive.       
         Is this just a story to you?   Can you put yourself in the place of Mary
Magdalene, frantically searching and then rejoicing because she had found
Jesus? Reading the Bible comes alive when we read more than the words but our
hearts are present knowing the joy Mary Magdalene felt when she found Jesus. It
is the same joy every believer experiences when they find Jesus.
         This is what Austin Miles saw in his
heart as he read these words…he was in the garden at the tomb with Mary frantically
searching for Jesus, and penning the words in joy and thankfulness with Mary
     I come to the garden alone, While the
dew is still on the roses; and the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of
God discloses
And 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….
         Mother (Anna Siemens) wrote these
words…in a poem called Garden Serenity…I
cannot rightly call it toil. When sprigs are planted into soil. Although I
water, mulch, and hoe. God’s elements will make them grow. The plants, the sun,
and even weeds –  Fulfill my very basic
needs; For when I kneel upon the sod. I have such lovely talks with God.
         After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden
of Eden, Genesis 3:8 gives us a piercing question to ponder. 
Then the Lord
God called to the man, “Where are you?” 
He continues to ask today, “Where are you?”
let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them, that
all who love your name may be filled with joy. 
Psalm 5:11.
your God is living among you.
He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With
his love, he will calm all your fears.
 He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Zephaniah 3:17.
     For I know the plans I have for you,”
says the
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11.

Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing
honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley
I will not be afraid
 for you are close beside me. Your rod and
your staff
and comfort me.

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