( Copyrighted excerpt from Quiet Moments in The Villages)
And the Lord God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (Genesis 2:15)
In the coolness of early morning, gardens awaken and stretch toward the sun. Like sleepy eyes opening to the light, flowers unfurl their petals. Roses stand up to smooth their ruffled skirts and mist the air with sweet fragrance. I love to begin my day by the garden. My heart skips a beat as I gaze upon the exotic beauty God bestows upon flowers.
Then I think about another garden. The Garden of Eden must have been the lovliest place ever created. God's artistic majesty must have been showcased in the flora and fauna. I can only imagine the stunning flowers that grew in the Garden of Eden. The Lord's splendor bloomed in the plants as he nourished them with sunshine and watered them with dew.
God placed Adam and Eve in this lush garden. They lived in a place of perfection. Not only was the environment glorious, but Adam and Eve had the privilege of communing with God, face-to-face, as the Lord walked in the garden during the cool of day.
There's something about face-to-face communication that creates a special bond. When I was in middle school, I had a close friend named Marie. We walked and talked all the time. We laughed, shared secrets, and encouraged one another through our early teen challenges. We helped each other survive those confusing years. Then she moved away. We wrote letters for awhile, but it wasn't the same as being together face-to-face.
Even though we can't meet with the Lord face-to-face, he still desires to commune with us. His Presence has always been with mankind in some form. During Old Testament times, God spoke directly to the prophets who declared his words to the people.
During New Testament times, God dwelt on earth in the form of Jesus. Then after his resurrection, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to abide with us. We've never been alone on earth. Our Creator has always communed with us in one form or another.
I discovered the wonderful experience of close communion with God. Even though I had been a Christian for many years, I didn't experience deep intimacy with the Lord until I went through a painful trial. The Lord stayed by my side. I bonded with my Savior on a deep emotional level. His Presence encompassed. He was the first one I spoke to each morning, and the last one I spoke to each night. I thrived in the constant closeness I felt with God. I long for the day when I'll see my Lord's face, when I can touch him and feel his arms holding me.
Even though we can't see God's face, we can know him with our hearts. We can't see him walking in our gardens, but we can see his fingerprints on every bloom. We inhale his essence wafting from the flowers. In the colors and shapes of plants, we glimpse the magnificence of our Creator's mind. We partake of God's provision as we eat fruits, vegetables and herbs.
A garden reveals much about our Heavenly Father. It's the perfect place to feel close to him. We sense his whispers in the breeze. We feel his warmth in every sunbeam.
O Lord, we come to the garden to seek you.
Come, my child, walk and talk with me.