Saturday, June 25, 2016

Secret Gardens

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 177: Today, I am grateful for secret gardens.

Who doesn't love the idea of a "secret garden". A private place of beauty, restoration and refuge. Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote the book "The Secret Garden that was published in 1909. It found it's way into movie history in 1987 & 1993. A beautiful story to tell and tell again. 

A tree-house provides a similar sanctuary. A private the beaten path...or perhaps above. We loved the weeping willow...or the "monkey tree" in the back of Grandma and Papa Chet's back yard. It was just right for climbing.  Most of our trees at home were too tall ... or we were too short to reach the lowest strong branches. That weeping willow was our secret garden at Papa and Grandma's. 

The joy of a special place, shared with a few,  is precious. 
I've always wondered what Gethsemane was like in Jesus day. It must have been special. It was a place Jesus went to pray, rest and rejuvenate. Sometimes alone...sometimes with his closest friends. 

There is a popular quote among gardeners: "Life began in a garden.". It is, of course, referring to Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. The imagery our minds create is quite beautiful. Their arrogance, disbelief and disobedience changed everything. Our unique, God granted gift of choice resulted in sin. Nothing was hidden from God, though they tried. The fall of man is recorded in Genesis 3. God knew their sin, but he made them confess to bring them out of hiding so discipline and healing could begin. 

The relationship would be different, but they could and would find forgiveness. God had invested his own breath in this creation called man. Discipline and consequences were inevitable... yet, ultimately they were granted forgiveness. Some things can't be undone. They can be forgiven, but not undone. It is why we are implored to "choose wisely" whom we will serve.

Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. -Jeremiah 23:14

The fact is...the earth is the Lord's and there is no secret place to hide. There is no "cone of silence" and no place he cannot see. Awesome...and terrifying all at the same time, right? There is not darkness so deep He cannot bring us light. No path is so unknown that He cannot meet us at our point of recognition of his Lordship. He knows our naked, innermost thoughts and dreams. 

"...choose this day whom you will serve" - Joshua 24:15

He longs for us to meet Him in the secret place. To walk with us, talk with us and simply enjoy the friendship. He says "Love me."  and let me restore your soul. Then, "Love others". "Love others and let that love carry them to me."  It is the purpose in fulfilling and at the heart of "The Great Commission". 

Today, I am grateful for secret gardens.

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