The garden hurts – and the garden heals

For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
    to spring up before all the nations. – Isaiah 61:11

IMG_0896So, despite all the heat (it’s been hitting the 90’s fairly consistently this week), and the relentless pain of an uncooperative back, Rebekah logged in a few hours of yard work Saturday. It hurts, yes, but then it hurts more – she says – to miss out on the dirt under her fingernails, and the smell of the good soil, and the feel of it in her hands as she pulls weeds and puts in new bedding plants.

The photos may suggest otherwise, but we really don’t have a ton of space around our home here in North Carolina. There are times – like when we visit Naomi and Craig in their new apartment – when we can see living without any yard at all; but there’s something about taking care of a garden that is, quite simply, good for the soul.

Lord knows there are enough responsibilities in our lives without mowing, and digging, and planting, and weeding – but in many respects all those things feed us in ways a good therapist would charge an arm and a leg for, yet never come close to achieving.

So this morning, heading into church for worship, I can’t help but think of our Creator, who willingly toils in the garden of this world to provide us with nurture, and spiritual nourishment, and – constantly – new and restored life.

We are watered by the living water, and we are fed by the bread of life. And we flourish, and we grow, and we are humbled, and we give thanks.

In gratitude – DEREK

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