His Creation, Our Effort

There is beauty in cultivation“The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there.” – George Bernard Shaw

Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
While yet in flower and not cut down,
they whither before any other plant.
Such are the paths of all who forget God;
the hope of the godless shall perish.
– Job 8:11-13

Cultivate: “to improve by labor, care, or study” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The early morning sun glints through the oak branches and leaves. A mist hangs over the scene freshening everything below the clear blue morning sky. You can smell the honeysuckle and the hyacinth. The marigolds show off their colors and the azaleas do the same. Perfectly manicured paths lead around the garden to places to sit and places to work in the soil. Peace more than anything grows here. In this garden, the things God created and our labor meet. And there’s something fantastic about that. It’s not every day that sun shines down through a cloudless sky. The flowers don’t bloom year round. And the peacefulness comes after purposeful diligence. Still, for right now, this is a place to be with the Lord.

Of course this place I just described is fictional. But not really, because we’ve all experienced places like it. We’ve all had those little moments of pure joy. And yet sometimes we wonder, why work? Why work so hard getting the flowers planted in just the right spots? Why pull all those weeds? Why worry about the grass being manicured and the gravel spread just right? Of course we know the answer. We know that the garden wouldn’t just be without purpose. And so it is with us. Why worry about our relationship with God? Why should we read His word so much? Why pray and talk to Him when we can’t even see His face? Of course the answer to these questions is easy too. Because we’re not the same without purpose. Without God’s purpose for us we wouldn’t be. Without living on purpose for Him we couldn’t be the same. It’s God in our lives that plants the roses in our hearts. Just as we wouldn’t expect a beautifully manicured garden without a little work, we can’t expect a life with God without letting Him into our hearts. Let God garden your heart. Let Him plant in your soul beautiful things. Let His Son shine into your life and see what in turn can grow.

The song of a robin perched above breaks the crisp silence. A hare twitches his ears somewhere down the path. A squirrel darts up a cedar to gain a better vantage of her surroundings. A chipmunk squirts in and out of view. Surely there is nothing like the place where our effort and God’s creation meet.

Daily Journaling Questions:

  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?

Thanks for reading,
Jake

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