Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Planting a Garden

B.C. (Before children) when we lived in Belton, I had a beautiful rose garden comprising of five generous rose bushes, one of which was the easy living rose. The raised flower bed had a picket fence to keep the dogs out and hanging moss rose hung over the edge of the bed. I also had an iris bed with bulbs of three varieties including an iris with a dark purple beard. I loved my flowers. They required attention and grooming. Weeding and feeding.

I guess that is probably the last time I had a beautiful flower bed. Pearce and I tried to grow a small garden in a raised bed last year, but that was the year of the drought, so we were not successful. I used to really enjoy gardening, and someday when my children when my children are too big for my lap, when they don’t need a driver, when they don’t need me as their alarm clock and cook, I’ll get back to having a beautiful flower bed.

I started reminiscing about my beautiful flower garden while reading in Genesis 2. In verse 8, it says, “God planted a garden.” I wonder what he chose as His favorite to put into the garden or what He put into it because it would intrigue Adam. He created this perfect garden Eden (means delight) knowing Adam would only enjoy it for a little while. Were they flowers like those I saw in Hawaii? How unique or interesting were they? Or were they simple because Adam had never known flowers anyway?

We know according to chapter 2 that God cause the ground to grow trees pleasing to look at and producing fruit. It was a garden with plenty of water resources with the Tigris and Euphrates, Pishon and Havilah, and as Pearce and I learned this past summer, water is crucial for a good garden. God also put the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in this garden. Why? That’s another upcoming blog. And what would have happened if they had eaten of the tree of life instead of the other? (Don’t expect a blog on that because that would just be supposition and unintelligent guessing on my part. There was gold, aromatic resin and onyx (vs 12). God’s garden was beautiful, life sustaining, and aromatic. It touched the senses of man – sight, taste, smell. Don’t you know how it must have pleased God to give this to Adam?! (Every good and perfect gift – James 1:17.)

People have wondered and tried to pinpoint where Eden was, but it’s really hard to know since the flood very well could have altered the geographical layout of the rivers and moved sediment to form land where there wasn’t once land. The point here is that God planted a garden for man, and just because mankind ruined it by choosing to eat from the wrong tree doesn’t mean that God has taken away the marvel and beautiful of his creation. It’s still there, but are you too busy to notice it.

I also noticed God wanted Adam to tend to the garden…this was before the fall. Adam was to be responsible and attentive to something other than himself. God was teaching him skills Adam would need later. God grew a garden to prepare Adam because he knew Adam would make the wrong choice at some time and need to know what to do next. (I’m getting ahead of myself…that’s in that upcoming blog I talked about earlier.)

Adam served God by tending the garden…what a wonderful way to serve! For me, gardening used to be therapy after a stressful day at work, and it was pleasure. I’m sure it was Adam’s pleasure to tend the garden God provided…surely. But how often do we become discontent with the “garden”/life that God has provided us? Often times the life or garden God has chosen for us is destroyed by our own decisions and the weeds we allow to come in and penetrate our hearts. It goes back to choices…that next blog thing.

The point of this blog is God planted a garden. When God provided this garden it was His best, His favorites, and His provision for Adam. I hope you don’t miss the beauty in God’s handiwork today. I hope that you see something new as if for the first time. I hope you wonder.

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