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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Visiting the Secret Garden

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
Genesis 3:8 – 9a NIV

Very early this morning I wrapped myself in an afghan, poured a cup of coffee and walked out on my back porch. The sky was still dark. I sat silently listening to God’s creation. Insects chirped their symphony of praise while the birds still slept in their nests. As I entered my heart’s secret garden I attempted to clear my mind of all clutter. I waited silently for Jesus to speak. Even though I could not see him or feel him, my faith told me he was there. I was comforted to be in his presence.

After a bit of time had passed my Master Gardner, Jesus Christ began to teach me. As he often did in scripture, he began with a question. “Paula, what do you think needs to come out of your garden?” My reply was, “nothing Lord; I love it just as it is!”

Jesus began his silent teaching through whispering A thought into my mind. He spoke only one word “resentment.” He said you have made progress in forgiveness and in acceptance, yet you still need to deal with this deep rooted weed of resentment.

I determined this morning that even though I may be able to forgive and accept the ones who offend me, I still resent them critiquing me and my values. I feel hurt when I am ignored and I resent that I am not valued by the offender. Rejection is hard to accept.

It was in the garden that Jesus began in love to teach me. Jesus spoke to me in kindness and he assured me that if I would allow him to uproot the resentment weed I would become a more effective Christian. Down deep in my heart I so want to be a person of godly influence. I realized that in that moment I was not strong enough to remove that deeply rooted weed of resentment that was entangled in my heart. A weed of this size would require a powerful tiller. The divine tool I needed here was the Holy Spirit. So on that day I gave God permission to excavate the deep root of resentment. He assured me, as he always does, that I would not miss this weed of resentment because he is all that I need and he is more than enough!

Today I am reminded that Jesus was ignored. Still today, Jesus is not valued by those he loves. He faces rejection everyday. Yet he continues to love humanity. Jesus stayed focused on the Father and the reason that he came to this earth. He had no time for pity parties. He moved on doing the work God had given him to do. Jesus saw the bigger picture and he knew that it was for the eternal good of all humanity to walk away and not waste one a minute on resentment. For my eternal good I want to choose to say good-bye to resentment. Resentment does not belong in the garden of my heart and when it tries to return I will definitely need to call for divine help.


Have you ever waited and listened for God to whisper his truth to your heart?

What did he say?

Is the noise of the day so loud that you cannot hear God speak?

Will you today make a place where you can be alone with God and listen to his voice?


Heavenly Father,

I admit my life is so busy that I am greatly challenged by finding not only time but “quiet” time to be alone with you. Help me to find a creative way to carve out that special time to meet you in the garden. Lord, I desire to meet you in the secret garden of my heart.

In Your Name I pray. Amen.