Now imagine yourself standing there in the middle of the barren land that is supposed to be a garden. Frankly, you are a mess! You are dressed in filthy, dirty, worn out work clothes. You have sweat on your forehead and smudges of dirt on your face. There are stinging blisters on your hands and you are bent over because your back is killing you. You are next to tears. No, wait, I think you are crying. After all of your endless day after day work efforts you still get absolutely nothing! You are standing there holding a shovel in your hand and on the shovel is written the words “self effort.” You try one last time to dig into the hard soil and when you do you hit a rock and the shovel handle breaks in two pieces. You cry out, “that’s it God, where are you…I need help!”
You hear a noise and you look up. Jesus is leaning across your garden gate waving his nail scared hand as he attempts to get your attention. He looks calm and collected. He finally speaks and when he does he simply says, “I’ve been standing here all the while, why didn’t you ask for help sooner? Why are you trying to make this a beautiful garden all by yourself?” Then he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV You then start walking toward Jesus and you say, “forgive me Jesus for ignoring you and rushing ahead of you with my plans for my garden.” You open the gate to your garden and Jesus, who is a Master Gardner steps into your barren garden. He has a huge grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He rolls up his sleeves and say, “we better get started, we have lots of work to do. Don’t worry, it will be beautiful!”
How well I remember the days before I started depending upon Jesus to manage my affairs. Before I began to trust him with my life and the lives of all those I loved. It was an ugly time of fear and frustration. You see the one you visualized in the garden could be you, but I know for a fact that at one point in my life it was me. God and I still work the garden of my heart, together every day. God has planted seeds that have bloomed into beautiful flowers of faith, hope and love. The Master Gardner has also trimmed my vines of service so that the branches would multiply and bear more fruit. He has pulled my personal weeds of pride, anger and selfishness. Trust me when I say that my heart is becoming a beautiful garden. Not only is my garden a place of sweet fellowship with Jesus, it is also a place where there is still much work to be done.
Do you ever remember standing in the barren garden of your heart?
What was it like when you looked up and saw the Gardner, Jesus?
What project are you and Jesus presently working on in your garden?
How do you enjoy working side by side with Jesus?
Dear Lord Jesus,
How I thank you that you stand at the door of my heart knocking. Sometimes the knock is so gentle and I am so preoccupied that I am hardly aware that you are there. Forgive me for not inviting you into my garden for every need and for every problem. But most of all forgive me for the times I have missed out on the joy and beauty that you want to bring to my garden. I invite you into the garden of my life today and every day. Please make my heart’s garden a place of beauty.
In Your Name I pray. Amen.