It’s now the dead of winter and many of the deciduous trees look like gray sticks. I wait for them to leaf out and the roses, azaleas, camellias and daffodils to bloom. Soon the crepe myrtle trees leaf and produce blossoms of white, pink, purple and red. Our neighborhood looks like a paradise of gardens in the Spring and Summer.
I am thankful for all the gardeners. Some homeowners take care of their yards. Others hire gardeners. Until April showers bring May flowers, the gardeners feed and weed. This morning I thought about God as the original gardener. He created the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve to work and take care of (Genesis 2:15). Springs and rivers watered the plants, but it seems to me that the weeds came after the fall. Adam and Eve didn’t have to deal with them before they sinned (Genesis 3:19).
The Bible uses metaphors of gardens and God, Himself, as the Gardener in many of the Scriptures. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:1-2). He also said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5).
It is no mistake that Jesus, Himself, appeared as a gardener at the resurrection. When Mary Magdalene came to the garden tomb and didn’t find Him, she cried. Two angels asked, “Woman why are you crying?” She responded, “They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him,” (John 20:11-14). Then she turned around and saw Jesus, but she thought He was a gardener. Jesus said, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” She said, “Sir, if you have carried him [Jesus] away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said, ‘Mary.’ She recognized His voice and said, ‘Rabboni!’ [which means ‘teacher],'” (John 20:15-18).
THINK ABOUT IT
Jesus went through towns and villages, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. He had compassion on the crowds because they were like sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless. He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out the workers into his harvest field,” (Matthew 9:35-37). Will you be a worker in God’s garden (the world)? You and I can make a difference by partnering with our Lord to show compassion as He shows compassion and to love as He loves.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Father God, thank you for your beautiful creation–gardens that remind us that you are the God of the universe. Yet, you care for us. You teach us how to live our lives pleasing to you and to be your instruments of peace, hope and love. Help us to be aware of opportunities you give us to accomplish your will and purpose in this world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.