Time For God: June 5

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Genesis 3:8
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Today’s Focus verse  presents evocative words. They continue to inspire musicians, artists, and writers. Dorothy Frances Gurney (1858-1932) was both daughter and wife to Anglican priests in England. in her hymns and poems, she expressed her love for God’s Word and His Creation. Her most famous poem—God’s Garden—contains some oft-quoted lines in the fourth verse.

Gurney’s words were inspired by gardens in Kent at Hammerfield Penshurst, considerably some to be one of the most beautiful gardens in England. They are among the oldest in private ownership. The poet penned her words in the owner—Lord Ronald Gower’s—Visitor’s Book.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,--
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

Many gardener’s, however, return to their yard work after a harsh winter feeling overwhelmed. The garden is a place of heartbreak, sweat, and tears. Hard labor and broken backs characterize the toil and the pain. Harsh realities face those who would supplant overarching weeds with plants to please the soul.

Jesus knew such a garden. In Gethsemane and Gogotha epitomize Eden lost. Yet through their portal we may enter paradise regained. Gurney intimates as much in her final stanza:  
For He broke it for us in a garden
Under the olive-trees
Where the angel of strength was the warden
And the soul of the world found ease.
God invites you to walk in His presence. He calls you to meet Jesus as Lord in Gethsemane. He opens wide His visitor’s book—the Bible—so that you by faith you too may find your name inscribed in His Book of Life. Returning to the garden may require an act of faith.

In the garden of His world, how will you choose to spend time in the cool of the day with God? With whom can you share the joy of that intimate relationship with God?

Lord, I do not hide from your presence. Draw me close. Hide me in your love’s embrace. Amen.
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