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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Comfort From the Gardner

"Peace I leave with you
my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid."

John 14:27 NIV

This beautiful May morning finds me enjoying my screened in porch and it really is true, “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning!” The early morning air smells so fresh that it reminds me of camping trips from days gone by. It is true, April showers do bring May flowers. The birds seem to be especially happy this fine day! They seem to know that winter is over and spring is here. The birds are so trusting because they know full well the extent of God’s provision.

In the background I can hear a wise old owl hooting in a steady rhythm. “oho, who, who, whoooo” – “oho, who, who, whoooo.” It seems that this owl might actually be saying, “oho, who, who, whoooo, made all of this?” My reply is, “God.” Then the owl hoots, “oho, who, who, whoooo, controls all of this?” Again my reply is, “God.” Now the not so wise owl asks, “oho, who, who, whoooo is to be trusted?” Once again, my replay is, “God, the creator of heaven and earth.”

I now find my mind is ascending to the Father who says, “Come to the garden.” My heart is eager; and my steps are quick as I run toward the garden. As I enter the arbor gate my heart skips a beat as I see the beautiful deep purple clematis that is climbing up the trellis. With every year that passes it gets more and more beautiful than the year before. In the distance I see my Savior walking towards me. At last we meet and share a warm embrace. We head for the gazebo and Jesus asks me to sit with him and share what is on my heart.

As I begin to share my thoughts he listens. He hears every single word. I explain that this world is a bit uncertain. The future is unclear. I know that he created everything, and that he is in control of everything, and that he can be trusted…but… Jesus I am still having trouble understanding all that goes on around me. I share that my knees are shaky and my heart beats fast when things in this world seem to be flying out of control. There is a long period of silence and then Jesus speaks.

My sweet daughter, you are in need of reassurance, comfort and peace. I want you to close your eyes and wait for the Holy Spirit and while you wait just listen to me. Jesus then reminds me that his ways are indeed higher than my ways, and that his thoughts soar way above the clouds while my thoughts cling to the earth beneath my feet causing me to cast my focus downward. He speaks again and says, “Paula, you lack understanding because what see through the windows of your eyes is cloudy.”

This was a wonderful time in the garden because the Master Gardner reminded me of so many important things. He told me that I am not to despair when life is hard. He simply said for me to do my best and leave the rest to him. There were also some other very important reminders. Paula, do not give in to hopeless thoughts. Remember I am the God of hope. I will sustain you. I will be your help in trouble. The second reminder was trust Me. Give up your worry. He said that worry changes nothing except my own countenance. Worry pulls you down and it steals your joy. Worry shuts out my peace, so please Paula, don’t worry. I am on the job. I know your name; I will provide for all that you will ever need.

Amazingly, my shoulders began to relax, the deep lines of concern left my forehead, my headache went away, my knees stopped knocking and my stomach stopped churning. In their place I felt this amazing peace wash over me. It was a peace that I could not explain; there was now a wonderful comfort that calmed my soul. The Holy Spirit had come and poured out on me his peace and his comfort.

It was now time to leave the garden and go back to all that had previously concerned me. But now, deep in my heart I knew that my needs would be met. I knew that I had hope, and that Jesus was going to go before me to guide me, above me to protect me, behind me to encourage me, and inside of me to give me peace. I knew that Jesus would sustain me in all circumstances and that he would always be more than enough. Jesus knew that I was in need of comfort this day and he met my need.


What are you concerned and worried about?

Have you given that worry and concern to Jesus?

Are you lacking hope or trust?

When was the last time that you felt God’s amazing comfort in your life?

Do you think that you could benefit from going to the garden to receive comfort from the Holy Spirit?


Dear Lord,

Thank you that I can be completely honest with you. Thank you that you hear me and that you listen to me. I know that you don’t miss a single word I say. Today I am feeling in need of _______________. Please send your Holy Spirit to provide the peace and comfort that I need this day. I need your help so that I can remain hopeful as I put my complete trust in you.

In Your Name I Pray. Amen