#stayinspired, Bible, Christian, life


At this time of my life, gazing on the red-dirt speckled fields and forests of my city, I find myself longing for gardens. I want to see the loveliest flowers and plants of our area, cultivated in a pleasing way. I want the house my family moves to be free from corrosion, bugs, and ugliness; I wish for it to be clean and pleasant.

In our lives on Earth, we all want this. We want to be surrounded by beautiful things. And even though we don’t know the name for it, we want gardens. Gardens not just of plants, but of our joys and desires–a garden of music, animals, stories, paintings, family, and so on.

Looking at all the desolation in the world wearies us. There was a time, however, when I saw the crumbling filth of poverty as more beautiful than the manicured gardens of a mountain–when I saw abandoned places as more lovely than loved places.

When you consider God’s character, it adds another dimension. God also wants gardens. (I mean, think of Eden). He wants to see joy, beauty, and pleasure just like the rest of us. The Hebrew word for “very good” in Genesis 1:31 is tove, which (I have read in Whisper) denotes not just the existence of quality, but God’s delight in his creation–in what he had made. So God doesn’t just stand at a distance and consider gardens good–he personally delights in them.

And God doesn’t only love gardens, but what comes before them. Gardens and goodness are a reflection on his character, but many times we see him coming to desolate and unloved places to renew them with wonder and hope. What was Canaan before God’s promise to Abraham? Only the worst of the worst of places–the homeland of a cursed people. (Which might mean all of us before we know God). Before this world, there was darkness and “no form.” And we see that those whose strength is in God “pass through the Valley of [Trouble] and make it a place of springs” (Psalm 84:6).

So when we encounter discouragement and find ourselves longing for gardens, I think we must remind ourselves that our desires are right and good, and that God has a purpose for the place that we are: that where we see the darkest of places, God sees a garden.

Until next time,


2 thoughts on “Gardens”

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