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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sweet Peace is Found in the Garden


“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,

because he trusts in you.”
Isaiah 26:3 NIV


“…seek peace and pursue it.” Psalms 34:14b NIV


“A heart at peace gives life to the body,…” Proverbs 14:30a NIV

Some days I feel overwhelmed with responsibility, I am mentally stressed to the limit, and physically exhausted as well. I have come to realized that all of this pressure is very real signs telling me that I must nonetheless; add one more thing to my already impossibly busy schedule. It is as though God has set up a speed bump on my path cautioning me to slow down!

I am learning that I must push to the top of the already busy list a block of time to go back to the garden of my heart and be still and know that God is God. I must find time to focus on his love and care for me. I must allow his angels to minister to my spirit. I must allow the Holy Spirit to comfort and direct me as I give God my schedule and allow him to set his priorities in all my days. When I am able to do this I do find that sweet peace is found in the garden.

How much time will I need? As long as it takes! When and where we meet God is up to each one of us individually. But I have learned from experience it is never good to try to simply squeeze God in between other activities. When I reach this level of stress and exhaustion I must cancel activities, make an appointment with God and keep the appointment! During times of stress, exhaustion, and overwhelming responsibility and need, Jesus separated himself from the duties of life and went deeper into the garden to pray. Sometimes he climbed a mountain to put distance between him and life. Other times he crossed the lake. The point is we MUST be spiritually refreshed if we are to be at our best and if we are to make good choices regarding our time. I challenge you to join me in making time for this wonderful refreshment. You will be glad you did.

As a little girl I learned a hymn that we sang regularly in our church. I have not heard that hymn sung for some time yet God’s Holy Spirit brought it to my mind as I entered the garden this morning. Here are the words to that beautiful hymn. There is really nothing else I can add today. The hymn says it all.


I come to the garden alone

While the dew is still on the roses

And the voice I hear falling on my ear

The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,

And the melody that He gave to me

Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.

I’d stay in the garden with Him

Though the night around me be falling,

But He bids me go; through the voice of woe

His voice to me is calling.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.

“In The Garden” a hymn by C. Austin Miles, Written March 1912


Have you experienced the great joy of being alone in the garden of your heart with Jesus?

When was the last time you were in the garden alone with Jesus?

What did you say?

What did Jesus say?

Did you spend silent time just listening for his voice?


Dear Jesus,

Today I come into your beautiful garden alone. I simply want to tell you I love you and that I thank you for all of my blessings and for your amazing love to me. Today I am concerned about ____________. What do you have to say to me today as I silently set here in the garden and wait for you to speak your words to me today? It may only be a soft whispering thought that you speak into my mind, my heart, but I don’t want to miss out on what you have to say to me this day. I pray that today I will have the patience to practice sitting still and listening for your voice.

In Your Name I pray. Amen.