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Peaceful Garden

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by ZiSunka, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    Peaceful Garden

    They will live safely in Israel and build their homes and plant their vineyards. And… they will know that I am the LORD their God." Ezekiel 28:26

    My dad has a plaque in his house, given to him by his sister, that reads, "Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see believes in God."

    I've always loved that saying. It's one of the things that began my journey out of agnosticism, toward faith. I realized that only God could formulate the biochemistry of the DNA that causes seeds to germinate and grow. DNA's complexity is too rich to be accidental. It must have been created. And where there is a creation, there must be a creator.

    I think about that saying as I anticipate planting my garden each year. It gives me comfort to remember the home where I grew up, where gardening was so important, and it spurs me on in the faith by reminding me that God is the originator and sustainer of all life, including mine. In Him we live and move and experience our existence.

    Recently, it took on a whole new meaning for me.

    Over the years, I have moved around a lot. As an adult, I've never lived in any home more than five years. Two years is my average stay in any one residence. So, even when I had a space to plant, I never had much of a garden. It didn't make sense to invest in tillers and soil improvements and shrubs when I knew that in two or three years, just when the stale city soil was starting to become fertile, I would be moving on to new places and new soils.

    Then five years ago, I bought a house. The very first thing I did was start my garden. I paid more than four hundred dollars to get a tree cut down to make room. I drove out to a nearby dairy farm to get bucketsful of manure. I built a fence and gate to keep my lumbering Labrador retriever from destroying the tender plants. In other words, I invested a great deal of time and money in developing a first rate garden. Now that I own a home, I feel confident that any investment of labor and money will have long-term profitability.

    But it was during the wandering time in my life that I began to think differently about that plaque and its message. To plant a seed beneath the sod...

    Not that long ago, the Bosnian conflict was in the news everyday. The news programs showed people fleeing from the destruction and death that is the nature of war. The Bosnian landscape was torn and pocked with demolished buildings and mass graves. It occurred to me that even if someone had wanted a garden, there was no room, no time to plant, no safety for someone exposed in an open place. No one even knew if they would be living in the same town from day to day. Often, they would have to pack up a few possessions and move on, without warning, to a region of greater safety. Similar to my own moving around, these people lacked the permanence that would make planting a garden sensible.

    Ezekiel 28:26 speaks about a restoration of permanence. The Lord speaks about gathering the scattered nation of Israel together and returning them to their promised land. He says, "And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God."

    The Lord recognizes that to build and to plant is to believe in a peaceful, stable future. No one invests during chaotic times. His instruction to His people to plant vineyards is His promise that their lives will not be disrupted for a long time to come. To plant a seed beneath the sod is to go beyond mere acknowledgement that a god exists, it is to trust in His ability to establish and maintain stability in our world and our individual lives. It is His symbol of our peace.

    Throughout the Bible, gardens represent peace with God. Eden represented man's perfect fellowship with God. The garden of the Beloved in Song of Solomon represented His loving gentleness. Ahasuerus went into his garden to gain control of his wrath against Haman. Jesus entered a garden to obtain tranquility before His betrayal. The olive branch carried by Noah's dove symbolized the end of God's anger. When Jeremiah promised that our souls would be like a watered garden, he was saying that we would dwell in peace.

    Now as I work in my garden and my flowerbeds, I recognize them as an incredible symbol of the peace and stability which I enjoy. It makes me grateful for the permanence I presently know. And it reminds me to pray for the people of this world who are now at war or in persecution. I pray that even if their bodies can't enjoy the respite of a garden, their souls can be like lush bowers.

    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, but as I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
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  2. coastie

    coastie Hallelujah Adonai Yeshua!

    There were few times when I felt closer to God than when I was working in the fields when I was younger. It felt so "salt of the earth"-like. Such a basic yet complex and yet important task, and an opportunity to enjoy God's miracle of life from an up close sort of perspective.

    That was beautifully written. It sounded like it was straight from a devotional. Praise God that you were lead to Him!

    It's so funny how these little things can open someone's eyes to God's glory. I wish the person who made that plaque could hear your story. :)

    in Christ,

  3. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'