“… I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16b, ESV)
As a teenager, when I would be able to go and spend a Sunday afternoon, or even for a stayover at my aunt and uncle’s house across town, I would almost always find my way to my older cousin’s room where the record player was. And it would play either the small 45 rpm or a 33 ½ rpm vinyl record.
It was those big 33 1/3 albums that I would rifle through, looking for the one that I always wanted to hear. You see, I enjoyed all the songs on that old album, but there was one song … one song that meant the most to me. I learned the words to that song and have carried them with me in my heart after all these years.
What song was it, you might ask? The song was entitled I Come To Garden Alone or In The Garden. A beautiful song penned on paper back in 1912 in a dark basement with no windows. It painted a picture, at least in my young mind, of a relationship with someone and their God.
I became that person and every time I would hear … then sing the words to that old hymn … I wasn’t even thinking about hearing some small voice in my ear or even actually seeing the Lord in person!
No, what I was picturing was the building of a relationship between my God and myself. A relationship which I realized, even when making some very foolish decisions along the way, that was to be the most important relationship that I could ever have!
In a very real sense, I did ‘come to the garden alone’ … not a physical garden, but a mental place where I could confide with my God the things that were troubling me … disturbing me … causing much unsettledness … and where I could appeal to Him in no one else’s hearing my deepest needs and fears!
Oh, how I loved to play that song, sing the words and picture myself in that setting so eloquently described in the words of the song. Are there phrases that one needs to think seriously about, absolutely! Is there a description found of just how much God wants a relationship with us? Without a doubt!
There is no actual garden that I can go to right now in my life! I know how much I would truly enjoy having one of those Better Homes & Gardens places with beautiful roses, peonies, azaleas, etc.
Actually, the garden of the song for me is not Gethsemane, even though it must have been a place where Jesus and His disciples went often. It is that quiet and peaceful place to remember His inspired words preserved in His Book … and it offers me the regular opportunity to make my petitions known to Him who cares so much for each of us!
The garden where I can go to in my heart and mind is a place where I can quietly and peacefully take a walk with my Lord! Enoch walked with God … so did Noah … so did Abraham … and so can we!
With all the uncertainties swirling around us … with the forecasts of more sickness … more death … I need to be finding that ‘garden’ for my …
- Expressions of my love, gratitude and reverence for who my God is … for all that He has done, is doing, and promises to do for each one of us!
- Expressions of my personal sorrow for the mistakes I’ve made in my life … and there have been many!
- Expressions of repentance and reflections of my desire to be right with my God!
- Expressions of my hopes and words to Him requesting wisdom … wisdom for me and my family, for all government leaders and researchers, for all of my friends, and of course, for my spiritual family!
- Expressions of petition for this terrible virus to run its course sooner rather than later … bounded by God’s good will!
- And finally, I just want to hear Him … His voice … speaking to me through His inspired Word with words of reassurance, comfort, peace and greater trust!
Yes, I come to the ‘garden alone’ … at least with no other people around me, but I have the assurance of His Spirit’s help when my words are difficult to express! My visits are becoming even more frequent as I grow older and as I see so many struggling to keep their hearts and minds calm!
Have you paid a visit to your ‘garden?’ Please do, and do your part in strengthening your relationship with God and becoming more like His Son … every day!
“… Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7, ESV)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.