Blessed are all who fear the LORD and live his way. You will certainly eat what your own hands have provided. Blessings to you! May things go well for you! Your wife will be like a fruitful vine inside your home. Your children will be like young olive trees around your table. Psalm 128:1-3
We went to my in-laws yesterday for a late lunch. I couldn’t help but notice how nice my brother-in-law’s yard looked. The grass was lush and thick and weed-free. I couldn’t help but think how many hours of work he must have put into that yard…
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
Life began in a garden.
Man was given a garden to tend.
Man was given a wife in a garden.
The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. Deuteronomy 11:10
My husband went to the emergency room the other night. Midnight. He thought he was having a heart attack.
I look back on it now, at this moment, and realize it was the Author of Life just writing another awesome chapter in the Book of Life.
See, while in the emergency room
Nicolas Cage, no kidding! Tim was drawing my husband’s blood and talking to us about mowing his yard. He off-highhandedly mentioned that he had only had to mow his yard four times this summer because of the drought conditions!
“Four times, only! Can you believe that!?!” He exclaimed. “But you should see my neighbor’s yard,” He continued. “Lush, green, you could sleep on it! Not a weed in sight! He spends no less than two hours (!) everyday (!) watering and tending his yard. Crazy!” He finished his sentence with a shake of his head.
The words “manicure” and “groom” came to mind as he spoke.
At the time I didn’t think anything of Tim the phlebotomist sharing about his yard or his neighbor’s yard, but this morning, as my husband was getting ready for work, I lay in bed meditating, and the Holy Spirit brought Tim’s comments back to mind.
NOTHING is a coincidence in the kingdom of God.
My meditation traveled back to last night when my husband and I went shopping together…alone. As we
I thought congenially pulled into the store parking lot, my husband did something unexpected and completely out of character. He turned to me and stated “You are very bitter towards me.”
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15
I did not deny what he said. I broke down, and in the midst of my tears I asked him, “Why do you think I am so bitter?”
He pondered my question for a moment and then answered, “Because I haven’t been the husband that I’m supposed to be?”
You were once dead because of your failures and sins. You followed the ways of this present world and its spiritual ruler. This ruler continues to work in people who refuse to obey God. All of us once lived among these people, and followed the desires of our corrupt nature. We did what our corrupt desires and thoughts wanted us to do. So, because of our nature, we deserved God’s anger just like everyone else. But God is rich in mercy because of his great love for us. We were dead because of our failures, but he made us alive together with Christ. (It is God’s kindness that saved you.) Ephesians 2:2-5
I thought to myself, “Having lived a majority of our life apart from Christ, neither one of us has been the spouse we were supposed to be.” I didn’t say anything while he got out of the van to go in shopping
with Jesus alone.
As I sat out in the van
with Jesus alone, waiting for him, I talked to God. I confessed again that I do have a bitter root and I just cried out to the Lord for help for our winter marriage.
Gardens are dormant in the wintertime aren’t they?
This morning, as I continued to ponder the highlights of the past week, the Holy Spirit was using Tim’s comments and the lush green picture of my brother-in-law’s yard to make some much needed symbolic correlations in our marriage. At that very moment, as was my husband’s custom, he came in after getting dressed for work, and lay in bed with me for a few minutes before he had to leave so we could talk. I shared my revelations with him.
I asked my husband, “Where did God place Adam when he created the world?”
“Where was Adam when God put him to sleep and took Eve out of his
So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man…Genesis 2:21-22
…and the two will become one flesh… Matthew 19:5
As he said it this scripture immediately came to mind…
After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and
tendscares for it, just as Christ does the gardenthe church–Ephesians 5:29
“Did you know that the Lord is showing me that not only did God give Adam a physical garden to tend, He also gave Adam another garden to tend when He took Eve out of his body and placed Adam in the gardener’s position over his wife in marriage? If there is a bitter root in your garden who’s fault is it? Is it the roots fault or is it the gardener’s?”
My husband gathered me in his arms and prayed for us. He prayed for our marriage. He confessed his sins of the past, and prayed for God to help him not be selfish anymore. He prayed for God to strengthen him and enable him to tend his garden. he prayed that the words that would come out of his mouth would be words of nourishment. He prayed that God would strengthen our marriage.
My husband prayed.
Lover. I have come into my garden…I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Friends. Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers. Sgs 5:1
Somehow I have this image in my mind of a Gardener in early spring with hoe in hand approaching an overgrown, thorn-filled, root-bound, weed-choked garden, wiping his brow and sighing, yet determinedly putting his hand to the task ahead of him as he pictures, by faith, the beautiful fruit-laden garden of summer that is to come.
As I picture this I also picture…
Jesus praying in a garden.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
Jesus being buried in a garden.
“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” John 20:15
Jesus rising in a garden.
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:6
And that once again, in Heaven, we will be in a garden.
A perfect garden…
It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,* with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. Revelation 22:2
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24
Jesus, You died for me, the Perfect Garden crowned with thorns. I die to self to share our ongoing story of our marriage’s redemption. Thank you that my husband was not having a heart attack the other day. Forgive me when I have failed at being a good wife. Bless our marriage and help it grow, Lord. Bring it gently out of it’s winter rest. You are the Master Gardener and you promise that if a man remains in you and you in him he will bear much fruit. May I always be reminded that apart from you I can do nothing. Bless Ron and I with a thousand-fold crop. In Your, my heavenly Husband’s, name, Amen.