30th August 2012

In The Garden

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
Genesis 3.8 (NKJV)

YOU ARE NEARER TO GOD IN A GARDEN THAN ANYWHERE ELSE ON EARTH” read the plaque in the garden centre.  Since we believe that Christ lives in Christians and so is with them everywhere (Colossians 1.27) it could be argued that this is not strictly true.  But it is interesting to note that God was in the habit of walking in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.

There is something about the peace and tranquillity of a nice garden which makes you feel closer to God. Gardens or countryside walks are good places to pray and meditate about our awesome God.  Even Jesus, in his final night on earth in human form, wanted the peace of the garden of Gethsemane to pray deeply and passionately to his Father. ( Matthew 26.36–46)

So at those times when we feel frustrated, discouraged and disheartened, spending some time pottering around or sitting in our garden, or the nearest stately home garden, or in the countryside where we can enjoy a calming and uplifting walk, may be just what we need to restore and refresh us.

I am fortunate to live near a river where you can walk alongside it for a couple of miles through both open fields and a small wood. It’s my favourite place to talk to God about all my concerns, whether large or small. I do get some funny looks if I don’t notice someone coming towards me. I am sure they think I have some mental issues when they hear me talking, apparently to myself.

As a society the way we live can, all too easily, cause us to lose contact with nature. So setting aside some time for a walk in a garden or the countryside, or a bit of gardening restores that contact. Does it bring us closer to God? I don’t know, we must each answer that question for ourselves. But it would appear that God likes walking in a garden too, so why not make the time to join him?

Father, in nature we learn so much about you. Help us to appreciate and enjoy your creation by making time to spend in it. Help us to draw inspiration and encouragement from it.

Study by Keith Hartrick

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