The Garden of Your Heart

  • Jan. 28, 2016
  • #8804

God’s word declares the heart of the believer Christ’s garden; a place of serenity, beauty, cultivation and growth.

The Garden of Your Heart

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and don’t you love walking in a garden?

I’ve enjoyed many visits to beautiful gardens, but probably my favorite time was back oh, I guess five years ago when I was still in chemotherapy for stage III breast cancer. Because my immune system was low, I had to stay away from crowds most of the time. Couldn’t go to movie theaters or to the food store, and often I did not go to Joni and Friends when colds were going around. So I pretty much stayed at home. But after a month or so of that, I got such cabin fever. I just had to get out! And so my husband Ken took me to a Japanese garden just north of Los Angeles. We went early on a Saturday morning and meandered along the path that led by bamboo trees, and Japanese maples. Typical for an oriental garden, there was lots of water, and even beautiful rock designs in large swaths of sand with seagrass. I paused by a lake where Ken and I sat and talked; we reflected on all that this cancer journey was teaching us. We walked a little further, praying out loud together as we walked. We found a little Japanese gazebo where we just sat quietly and didn’t even talk; we just enjoyed the peaceful serenity. It was a beautiful garden, and it was a wonderful highlight in an otherwise very difficult journey through chemotherapy.

Now, I guess Ken and I could have sat in our backyard that Saturday morning, but there’s something about walking through a real garden that does your soul good. And for that reason, I think it’s pretty fascinating that the Bible begins in a garden – the Garden of Eden. And then, the Bible ends with another garden where there’s a river and rows of trees whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations. Gardens mean something in scripture. And here’s the thing: when God says in Song of Solomon chapter 5, verse 1, “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride,” He is inferring that the heart of the believer is Christ’s garden.

Think about that. When God calls you His garden, it means something separate from what’s natural and ordinary, your heart is not supposed to be wild and untamed; it’s not a natural wilderness. There’s no spirit of or evidence of rebellion, no, for as you lean on Christ, your heart (your garden) is cultivated and maintained. A garden is also walled in, it’s separate and sanctified and set apart (just like you are by the Holy Spirit). A garden is also a place of orderly beauty that far surpasses the wild bushes beyond its boundaries (and the same is true of the Christian; in Christ, you possess a beauty that far surpasses the things of the world). A garden is also a place of growth – things grow there! In the same way, no believer remains an undeveloped bud; rather, the Christian walk is all about life that blossoms. Another analogy: well, a garden is a place of respite. That’s what Ken and I enjoyed the most that day at the Japanese garden. It was a place of respite; a quiet and serene place that really refreshed our souls. Is your heart, your garden a place of rest? Are you content on the inside? Can you easily default to peace and serenity when everything around you is crazy? Would the Prince of peace feel at home in your garden?

Best of all, no true garden is without a skilled Gardner. Oh, friend, you have a divine Gardner who loves to cultivate and maintain what is best in your life. He loves to refresh your heart so that beautiful things will grow. My prayer for you today is that God will send showers of blessings your way to water the garden of your heart.


© Joni and Friends


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