Isaiah 58:11, NLT
“The Lord will guide you continually giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden like an ever-flowing stream.”
The garden of the house we have recently moved into has been neglected for several years and is greatly in need of a major make-over. This has given great excitement and pleasure to Anna, my wife, as it presents her with a `blank canvas` on which to exercise her horticultural skills and knowledge. I must admit I don`t totally share all her enthusiasm over this, as I can see the work and expense that will be involved to bring her dreams into reality! Nevertheless we`re both looking forward to the finished project – Anna to potter in and me to sit in!
Gardens can mean different things to different people. For example, for some they`re places just to admire and relax in, for others they`re a source of provision. For some gardening`s a hobby, but for others it`s an irksome necessity. Gardens can be designed to fulfil particular purposes. One can be full of colour, another full of perfume. Yet others can be full of exotic plants, fruit trees or vegetables. Each with its own character and `destiny`.
God`s designed and made each of us to fulfil a particular purpose (or destiny) and to blossom or bear fruit where we`re planted. Like a garden, our lives can bring blessing in various ways to different people. We may be a source of peace and tranquillity. Others of us may be like the Apostle Paul, who could say `Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume` (1 Corinthians 2:14). Then the fragrance and beauty of Jesus can bring comfort and encouragement where it`s needed. Those with practical skills as their `fruit` may be a source of help, support and provision for people in a different way. Each of us has God-given talents. When we submit them like plants to the `divine Gardener` (John 15:1) they can be trained and developed. They`ll produce what He requires and enable us to be a blessing to others and bring glory to Him (John 15:7).
The words of an old Sunday School chorus express the desire that our hearts and lives may be like a `garden fair`:
`My heart may be like a garden fair,
loving words and thoughts and deeds a blossoming there;
Or it may be a place of poison weeds,
growing into ugly thoughts and words and deeds.
Lord Jesus, make my heart a garden fair.
Come, Thou Thyself, and be the Gardener there.`
(H. H. Lemmel CSSM Choruses).