Apr 27, 2010

Lessons from the Garden of Eden

I spent a big chunk of the day yesterday in my garden.  It wasn't the good part of gardening, it was the ugly part.  Weeding.  Back-breaking, dirty, exhausting, no-fun work.

God spoke to me in the garden.  He usually does.  Maybe because it is so quiet that I am actually listening.  Or maybe because I feel so close to the heart of God in the garden.  I don't know, but I always enjoy what he has to teach me.

When I started, much of the area looked like this:

Pretty ugly, huh?  There really are flowers in there somewhere!

As I began my work, I started thinking how weeds in the garden are much like the sin in our hearts.  It begins to invade the places where once beauty was easily seen.  But soon, the beauty is gone, and the ugliness has taken over.  Left unattended, the ugliness can soon be the only thing that is seen.  It chokes out the beauty that once occupied that place.

It made me wonder if God feels like the gardener of our soul sometimes.  Does He look down at me and see  the weeds in my heart where beauty once lived?  I shiver to think that on some days he sees only weeds.  When He is tending to the garden of my heart, pulling and digging at the stubborn weeds of sin, are these the times in my life that are painful--when I won't let go of bad habits, wrong desires, or selfish wants?  Are these the moments that I resist God's gentle hand of correction?

Genesis 3:8 tells us that God was enjoying a walk in the garden in the cool of the day.  Eden was a perfect place.  Undoubtedly God was enjoying the sites and smells of his beautiful handiwork.  He had also come in search of Adam and Eve.  But unfortunately he found weeds--sin had entered the garden through Eve's disobedience.  And so it began here.  Weeds in my garden.  Weeds in my soul.

"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field."
Genesis 3:17-18

After working for over an hour on the worst part of this area of the garden, I had pulled an unbelievable amount of weeds.
As I left the garden in search of a cold drink and a place to rest my weary back, I couldn't help examining my heart for the weeds that may have taken up residence.  As God was watching me in the garden, was He seeing weeds or flowers in my heart?

I think it may be time to grab the shovel......


Marci said...

Looks like the pile of weeds I pulled yesterday, too! Great insight. I pray my flowers out number my weeds today.

Mandy said...

Great application! Praying that God is able to find the flowers among the weeds in my heart!

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