And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed Genesis 2:8 KJV
Without a doubt one of the most loved hymns at the nursing home I visit is In the Garden. This week voices that have sung those words for nearly a century joined in on the chorus; “And He walks with me, and He talks with me.” Then we talked about gardens. A garden was the first place that God made for man. The garden was the place where Adam and Eve could walk with God. In chapter three it says that God came and walked through the garden in the cool of the day. He called their name and yet because they had sinned, they hid.
Then for thousands of years man could no longer walk innocently with God until something happened in another garden: the garden of Gethsemane. There Jesus went to pray, and He asked His Father to spare Him from the agony of the cross and yet if there was no other way; Jesus would still drink the cup so that we could be restored.
Just three days later in a third garden Mary came to His tomb. The Bible tells us that it was so early that it was still dark. Like the words from the hymn, “The dew was still on the roses.” Jesus came as the gardener and called Mary by name. In that garden God again came in the cool of the day. There He began to call your name and mine to come and walk with Him and talk with Him because at Calvary He made us His own!
This is day 11 of 31 days of Hope. The hymn In the Garden begins with the line “I come to the garden alone – while the dew is still on the roses. That quiet garden time is what we all need to recharge our hearts with hope.
For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not Isaiah 30:15
Hope that will carry us through the battlefield of life is a gift we receive in the quietness of our time alone with God. When Jesus taught about prayer He said:
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret Matthew 6:6 ESV
Noise is like angry storm water that pours over the dikes in our lives! In Jesus’ day that noise took the form of dawn till dusk work days, family expectations and the corrupt Roman government’s demands. Maybe your noise comes from TV or continually checking your status on social media. Whenever it enters, the sounds of this world have a way of blocking out the still small voice of Jesus. When we hear more of what everyone else thinks than what God has to say we rush into our day without the spiritual reserves of quietness and hope. God is waiting to give us hope and His strength for what lies ahead. So when you go to that quiet secret place with your heavenly Father, please – don’t forget to close the door!
This is one of the Hymns best loved which we use at Nursing Home ministry. The best hymns to sing are the ones that people will sing along with and this is a sweet and easy sing with a deep and personal message!