I sit watching the sun slowly come up in the garden and find comfort in the shadows becoming light. Each day I sit patiently, as the world outside my little garden becomes increasingly more in disarray. For many of us, if not all, over the last year, we would say, “if anything could go wrong, it has.”
I am comforted by King David in the Psalms: “I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.” ~~ Psalm 40:10
Day after day, I ponder God’s deliverance, as I sit in this special place we have created. I ponder the complexity and the beauty of everything that surrounds me. I watch the shadows move like God’s almighty hand, bringing life, and bringing light to our world — and all that dwells within it. Lord, your light, your deliverance, brings life to the garden!
I am thankful for our church family. In these times of chaos, our church family has continued to be a light for Christ, helping others in need. Rather than focus on the calamity of our current world, our church family lives with the context of the chaos but focuses on the source of our true deliverance—Jesus.
One thing all this confusion, destruction, death, and disarray have shown me, is that amid our hardest days, the Lord hears our cries. He is with us; he guides us, and he protects our souls. He hears our groaning and the sighs that roll from our lips. Our sighs form a bridge to his heart. He hears our pain as we cry out for his healing hand.
I suppose God gave me this place as a matter of perspective. It has become a rock, a place for me to stand securely, to gather my thoughts, and to focus my attentions, as so much of our lives seem to wash away in the surrounding sand. Jesus is my rock, the rock of my salvation.
As I write this today, I know these words may not sound so uplifting. Living in the chaos of our world right now is that way, isn’t it? Not always so uplifting. As we seek refuge in the right place, in his arms, he lifts us up, out of the mire and clay that often surrounds our lives. What I pray you hear, from this Lesson in the Garden, is that God is there amid your chaotic world, he cares and wants to walk with you and comfort you. Strengthen your faith and place it squarely at his feet, where it belongs. Our faith is in Jesus, and no one, nor anything else. Jesus is our deliverer.
Butterflies emerge from the shadows, crested titmice (small little gray birds) sing and flitter around the garden, and our last chrysalis (for the time being anyway) opens to new life. There, proudly standing before me, is a beautiful Monarch butterfly in all his newfound glory, delivered from its chrysalis.
The other day, my grandsons emerged from their classrooms inside the house. They took all the wood that is waiting to become a part of the garden and created a beautiful piece of art in the grass. In the midst of their chaos, they found comfort and refuge in the garden.
Today, I started to pick up and stack the scattered wood they left in the grass. I quickly discovered, when I looked at the bigger picture of this mess before me, that they left me a message of hope from the day before. At least, that is how I interpreted it. What looked like the Tree of Life beaming rays of light into the garden to me, was actually a sculpture of a tree house they made in their young minds. Both, I would say, the Tree of Life, and the treehouse provide hope to us in the garden. God is good!
The other day, I finished the Alpine roadside shrine that adorns the Biergarten. In Germany, dotted along the countryside far and wide, are small shrines reminding the inhabitants of where their hope lies. I recreated one in our garden. On the shelf are two small dwarf jade bonsai trees, a small pewter bowl, and a bag of butterfly wings. I am reminded of The Littlest Angel and his gifts to our Lord. Simple and unique, nothing fancy. What we offer Jesus is our hearts.
So, we must keep our feet on the rock of our salvation, we must seek and trust in his presence every moment of our lives, and we must sit patiently, always singing forth a song of praise and wonder in the garden of our lives. For his deliverance is always near.
The Lord is our deliverer from the pits of despair. As the shadows recede, bringing nourishing and illuminating light into the world, we praise his name, and seek his face, in the illuminating light of THE SON.
There is deliverance in the garden of our lives.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.” ~~ Psalm 40:1-3