And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis. 3:8-9
Imagine the Lord walking in the Garden of Eden. Imagine Him loving those walks and equally loving the talks He would have with Adam and Eve. Imagine how natural it must have been before the Fall when God and man spent time with each other.
If that kind of beautiful relationship existed naturally between God and man before the Fall, then we should want to cultivate this. Unfortunately, we often find our flesh/selfish patterns getting in the way. Sometimes, we feel that conversing with God in prayer is too dull or that it takes too long. Sometimes, we hasten our morning devotional time because of so many things in our “to do” list. Even our best attempts at conversing with God at night find us dozing off prematurely.
Prayer must be something we delight in. It’s not wrong to be people who are always “on the go” (Jesus had a full ministry schedule!), but it’s necessary to have moments where we withdraw from the crowd to seek our Father’s face (something Jesus did a lot, too). In our wanting to help others heal, or or to do work in church and ministry, or to teach the Bible, we should be mindful that we KNOW what it means to experience our own healing and our own learning in the Presence of our Healer, our Teacher, and the One who knows what church and ministry are all about. It is certainly hard to give out to people when we do not have any refreshing from God Himself.
In the Song of Songs, we see that the garden is a central setting where the Lover and his Beloved enjoy their time together. It would be the place where the Lover would summon His Beloved to go to: “My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me” (Song of Songs 2:10-13).
Our hearts ought to be like a Garden where the footsteps of our Lord would be welcome, and where it is a delight to spend time with Him. Even our churches and ministries ought to be a place like the Garden— where it is not simply duty that draws us in, but being in the presence of our Lover. The Garden is where growth happens, where life flourishes, and where the footsteps and voice of our Lord are heard.
Let’s tend to the garden of our hearts. Let’s spend time and delight with the Lover of our souls.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.