And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. Genesis 2:8 ESV
What is a garden? Is it defined by rows of roses and peonies; or is it painted on canvas by the brushstrokes of pathways and fountains? The first garden we learn of was filled with all kinds of fruit trees, and the scriptures tell us that God planted it in Eden. Having spent more hours on my knees pulling weeds than kneeling at the altar in church I have learned that the secret of a garden’s beauty lies as much in the walls that surround it and the spaces between the flowers as in any blossom or leaf. Those boundaries say clearly, “This is my garden and that is the field.” Or “The primroses marching across the flower bed are lovely, but they must be pulled out in places, or they will overrun the foxglove and hollyhock. In his poem, “The Mending Wall” Robert Frost wrote, “Good fence make good neighbors.”. Though Frost himself was not in favor of boundaries, his neighbor was, and I have learned that God is also. God is the gardener of our hearts and the one in charge of order. He sets our limits, prunes our overgrowth and transplants us from time to time when He chooses. Like Jeremiah’s image of the potter and clay, we are all in the hands of the Master Gardener of the universe. It will not help us to whine about the gardening He is doing in us today. We must not only trust in His spiritual gardening skills, but we might want to spend some extra time on our knees next to Him in our garden bed of prayer!