Where do you feel closest to God? For many it is as we are astounded by or soothed by the natural world. It could be the sea, a river, mountains or the humble garden.
Many of us seem to have been able to enjoy some extra time tending our gardens. You may have heard this phrase “One is nearer God's heart in a garden, than anywhere else on earth.” It is from a poem by Dorothy Frances Gurney.
Clare Hooper, one of our Baptist regional minister sent these thoughts from her potting shed.
As I potter in my garden, I find that I sense God speaking to me through the experience of gardening; planting, watering, weeding, feeding, pruning, thinning, training climbers, sweeping up or just sitting back appreciating it. There are so many life lessons to be learnt.
In John 15, Jesus talked about his father being the gardener. It is as we tend gardens that we can come close to the heart of God.
I was recently weeding the cracks in my footpath and found that some weeds like grass are easily removed, others like dandelions put up much more resistance and the thick ornamental grasses are almost impossible to remove as they creep under the slabs. It is like that with bad habits, attitudes or sins in our lives. Some are easier to deal with than others but they need to be dealt with. In the garden it is a job I put off. It is the same sometimes in my life, but it needs to be done. What weeds in your life are you struggling to eradicate?
Like Clare I find removing plants really difficult. The other day I was finally pulling out the Creeping Jenny that was all over a gravel area. These aren’t weeds they are lovely plants that are taking over the garden and removing all the clear space. And preventing other plants from thriving there. Just like things in our lives that are not bad, even good, but they are taking over and preventing space for God and other lovely things to flourish. What good things in your life need to be thinned out in order for there to be some clear space for God?
I live under pine trees and it is a constant battle just to clean up the patio area. If it is not pine cones it is needles. If it is not needles its seeds or pollen sacs. So I regularly need to undertake the mundane task of sweeping, especially after the winds. I was doing this the other day and found treasure! An earring that I had lost a few days earlier was found by my broom. Some of you will have found treasure in your homes as you have cleared out cupboards. There is treasure to be found even in the mundane. What treasures have you found recently? I wonder what treasures God wants to reveal to you as you clear away the detritus of your life?
That’s enough to think about for now, maybe God will share his heart with me as I continue to potter in my garden. Hopefully he will reveal himself to you as you potter away too.
Maybe your experiences of gardening have been more difficult.
Don’t be discouraged there is always someone else having a worse experience.
Take a look at this.
Stay well, stay safe and stay connected