In the Garden is one of my all time favorite hymns. Gardens are quiet places, contemplative and serene. Places to listen and be heard. I recently read a devotion entry written by Teresa of Avila about the Garden and wanted to pass it along because it expresses perfectly how I feel about this topic...
"When you enter into the spiritual life through the gateway of prayer, you would do well to see yourself as one who has set out to create a garden. This garden is a place wherein out Lord wants to come and walk and take pleasure. But just now, the soil is barren--except for the places that produce plots of weeds. His Majesty wants to uproot the weeds and plant in His garden many fruitful and fragrant blossoming plants. You may take it for granted that the Lord is already afoot, walking in His garden, if you have any desire to seek Him in prayer, for He always calls to us first and it is His voice we hear when we think it is our desire to pray. If we want to be good gardeners of the new-sown soul, we must, with God's help, see to it that the good plantings are tended and grow--and I am speaking now of godly virtues. At least, we must see that these good things are not neglected and die. Rather, we tend our souls carefully so that the first blossoms appear. These are the spiritual "fragrances" that begin to rise from our lives--the fragrances of faith, goodness, self-control, love, and the like. By them, many, many others are refreshed in spirit and attracted to the Lord. Then the Lord, Himself comes to walk in the midst of our garden. And it is all our joy to sense that He is there, taking pleasure in the lovely virtues." (from The Blue Book by Jim Branch)
Weeds and backsliding go hand in hand. It takes daily attention to control them. They pop up when and where we least expect them, but, with God's help, they are controllable, and eventually are not so difficult to overcome. Then you can spend more time enjoying the blooms from the good plants you've cultivated.
Another "Garden" song I love is by Kari Jobe, called "The Garden". If you would like to listen it, go to:
2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are perishing.
10/22/2022 02:58:39 pm
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