Before the fall, God planted a garden. This was His choice of environment for perfect existence and holy communion with man. We have soiled His oasis ground with the sinful soil of our self-sufficient hearts. Broken limbs lie rotten, making vulnerable the flower beds which had perfectly rested under their shade. The tulips droop with sorrow, begging to put their heads back into the ground from which they came. The freedom of the morning dew reminds the plants that despite their constant fight against gravity, God has not forgotten about them. Gravity always wins in our severed and sinful garden. No matter how much anti-aging cream you apply to your face at night, how much recording of daily routine experiences you write down, or how often you exercise that six pack that you’re desperately trying to get before summer, wrinkles will outline your facial features, your memory will fade with changing routines of different life phases, and let’s be honest, too much definition accompanying your wrinkles will make you look like a day old doughnut.
(Don’t worry, I’ll tie this all in... Just remember that gravity is important, even though our culture does everything humanly possible to ignore and reject it.)
But, praise God that He created gravity.
I recently had the opportunity to serve with a group of fellow students during our Spring break. We spent the week helping out in the community of Frakes, Kentucky, doing various construction projects in connection with the wonderful organization of Henderson Settlement.
A quick shout out to my new family of brothers and sisters that I served with, who I am so thankful for!
I love you guys.
Down there we were able to beautify the living situations of a few families, whose gardens (figurative) had overgrown to the point of helplessness. Kentucky is nicknamed the “Bluegrass State” because of the wealthy soil that yields healthy pasture land with plentiful bluegrass. Despite the nutrient-wealthy soil, the community that we served was poverty-stricken. The brokenness filled my heart with a heavy sorrow. A friend from the trip expressed what he was feeling by saying that the way his heart breaks for the community in need is the way God looks at us. God’s heart breaks with the brokenness that He sees in our lives. However, when we come to him with our thorny branches, He puts roses on the ends. Amidst the path of broken garden stones our God, the perfect potter, creates new life and resurrection. He brings us back to a garden existence as our hearts our nourished through His love. Having the opportunity to tangibly improve the brokenness that a family was living in will be impressed on my heart for a long time. And as I consider what we did, I know that in the same way, God wants to be allowed to heal our ruined state.
Disclaimer- I have not been blessed with the gift of creatively expressing my thoughts through beautiful words so I’m sorry if my writing was a bit sloppy. Praise God for those English majors because I’m not one of them. But, what I think I’m trying to say is that we are only here for a short amount of time. And these 3.5 seconds that we exist in the great scheme of the world’s existence are vital. It can either be a constant combat with gravity, or a proclamation of thanksgiving in our completely submission to the supreme God. Submission is not a thing that we should fear or fight, in regards to giving up of ourselves to Jesus. Remember, He loves gardens. He wants our lives to grow, blossom, be nourished with beautiful friendships, and bask in the glory of his presence. He wants to redeem ANY malnourished roots in our hearts into a healthy tree ripe with fruit. So, let's let Him. Let's use the resources of each other to plow our soil and get rid of the sin in our hearts. Let's grow together and produce fruit for God's glory, so we can better help others. Let the brokenness be used for motivation and not discouragement! (Check out Joshua 1:9 -good stuff!) God wants it redeemed just as much as we do. And He has placed us on the earth to help with just that.
"And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail."