“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man (and woman) whom He had formed.”
Genesis 2: 8, King James Version
“I come in the little things
Saith the Lord:
Not borne on morning wings
Of majesty, but I have set my feet
Amidst the delicate and bladed wheat
That springs triumphant in the furrowed sod.
There so I dwell, in weakness and in power;
Not broken or divided, saith our God!
In your strait garden plot I come to flower:
About your porch my vine
Meek, fruitful, doth entwine;
Waits, at the threshold, Love’s appointed hour.”
Do I take time to reflect in the garden home God has provided for me with His gift of nature?
“Gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe.”
Ever since I was a young child, I have loved gardens. My grandmother introduced me to the wonders found in the earth and in seeds. Whenever I visited Grandma’s house, she always took me out to her garden to see what new flower was blooming or what vegetable was beginning to develop on the many vines she cultivated. But of all the beautiful flowers in Grandma’s garden, none enchanted my childhood fantasy like her well-strung rows of sweet peas. Oh – so beautiful! I can almost smell their fragrance as I write. And I can still see their lush pastel petals moving slowly in the soft breeze.
As I read our text today, I was overwhelmed by the kindness of our Heavenly Father to “place” His earthly children in a garden. Yes, the first home ever created for Adam and Eve was a garden.
Wouldn’t you have loved to see what that garden home looked like? I know I would. As I have visited beautifully cultivated gardens through the years – I’ve found myself wishing even more that I could have spent time in the Garden of Eden with our first parents.
The book of Genesis tells us that, “The Lord God took Adam and put him into the garden to dress it and keep it” (Genesis 2: 15).
I checked in the Hebrew to see what the words “dress” and “keep” mean. And I love the broader meaning supplied by the original words. “Dress” means to give service to the garden. The word worshipful service is appropriate. To “keep” means to “guard, protect, and preserve.” In other words, God instructed our first parents that their garden home was to be a place where they could offer worshipful service as they guarded and protected His gifts of creation.
While the Bible doesn’t tell us how long Adam and Eve lived in their garden home before the intrusion of sin – the Bible does tell us that “in the cool of the evening” God came to walk and talk with Adam and Eve.
Have you ever been out in nature walking as the sun sets, and you feel this quiet calm that rests upon the world as the birds stop singing, the city noises disappear, and a soft silence settles upon God’s earth? Now just imagine being in the Garden of Eden with Eve, and walking slowly with her at sunset in the lush foliage and through the banks of flowers. Close your eyes and think of the aroma, the beauty, the treat to the senses. And this is where Eve had her first home. A place that lifted her thoughts to the Creator. A garden that reminded her of the love of a Heavenly Father who longed for all His daughters (and sons) to be forever surrounded by the peace and solace found in a garden sculpted by the Creator of the universe.
As we read about God’s first home for Adam and Eve, we find that “a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” The first is Pison which compasseth the whole land of Havilah where there is gold, the second river is Gihon, that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia, the third river is Hiddekel which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates” (Genesis 2: 11-14, K.J.V.). If this little geography lesson sounds like part of the evening news, it shouldn’t surprise us. For how sad, that one of the parts of planet earth which has seen such turbulence and upheaval throughout the years is at the heart of the garden where peace and perfection reigned. What a contrast! For if our first parents had not only cherished the created gifts they were given, but also honored their Creator, how different this world would be now.
But lest you and I despair for “what could have been,” let’s remember the beautiful words penned by the Psalmist David in Psalm 1: 3, “You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month. Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom” (The Message Bible).
Doesn’t that thrill your heart? It does mine, for while the toxin of sin, as we shall see, entered our original, perfect garden home, our Father invites us to accept His healing power, His “re-creation” of our hearts, and then promises to replant us in our garden home again – forever!
I invite you, at sunset sometime this week to step outside and look to the Heavens. Ask your Father to come and walk with you “in the cool of the evening.” Then, thank Him for His promise, as fulfilled in the life of His Son Jesus to replant us in our garden home.
“Dear Father who hast all things made,
And carest for them all,
There’s none too great for Your great love,
Nor anything too small.
If You can spend such tender care
On things that grow so wild,
How wonderful Your love must be for me,
Your little child.”
--G. W. Briggs
On Reflection: Ten Things I’ve Learned in the Garden
1. From the hedge roses: When you remove the deadwood, the new growth can dance.
2. From the chives who jumped the fence: Weed carefully so that you don’t pull that which you didn’t know you had planted.
3. From the geraniums saved from last year: What appears to be dead may have life if it’s fed.
4. From the wrens: Young birds play: so should young people.
5. From the compost pile: Garbage, properly treated, becomes food.
6. From the lemon mint along the garden shed: Communicate—when someone else mows, they don’t know where you have planted.
7. From the hostas: God can work miracles in the darkness.
8. From the lilacs: The sweet smell of success is short-lived.
9. From the lamb’s ears: It is possible to have too much of a good thing.
10. From my heart: If Adam and Eve belonged in a garden, don’t we?
--Mrs. Janet Hitchcock
Women’s Uncommon Prayers
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.