Thursday, December 28, 2017

Life as a Garden

UV 2868/10000 Life as a Garden
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Isaiah 58 v 11
We need to be as attached to the Lord’ s hand as our fingers are attached to ours. When we are like that and seek Him daily and continually, this uni-verse comes into operation. He promises to both guide continually and to provide consistently and even in times of famine or drought. He will guide us into all truths that are the foundations of our faith and life. He promises to guide us till our death and even beyond into eternity. He directs not just our steps but lays down the paths or plans we should follow. Of course, it is never a cake walk but He is with us all the way through good times, difficult times, times of plenty, times of shortage. In times of plenty, we ought not to be complacent and in times of drought, we ought not to complain like the ancient Israelites in the deserts of the Middle East. We should neither despair nor despise the scarcities, limitations, challenges of our various life situations as these are great opportunities for the Lord’s grace and mercy to be revealed to us and to others.
When we feed on the Word our spirits, souls and our bodies will flourish. The Word of the Lord will not fail us. It is like the fresh water of an eternal spring that never dries up unlike even a river that can dry up. The Lord will lead us to springs of water to refresh us. Even physical resources and factors dry up, the eternal hope in Christ will never dry up. He will strengthen us from deep within us, the innermost core of our being that is compared to the point where bone and marrow meet, hidden from human eye and human senses. When we face difficulties, challenges, problems, He will bolster us and cause us to perceive an inner flourishing that precedes the physical and the factual.
In a watered garden, the trees do not just wait for the rainfall for the requirement of moisture but get a daily portion. The trees do not go to the water. The water is brought to the trees through manual and automatic means like drip irrigation. Likewise, the Lord continually waters us so that our hope and strength never dries up. A watered garden that is not fenced will be attacked by all kinds of cattle and beasts. Likewise, we need to have fences or our own rules and precepts for decision making, for conduct and conversation. Every fenced garden has a gate for entry and exit. So also our entry point is Jesus and our exit point is also Jesus for He is the Door that gives us access to continual guidance, continual protection, continual provision. The versatility of Jesus is amazing- for He is also the well of deep waters in the famine of our desert times. He answers all our questions and settles our quest forever. The incident where some people came to Jesus’s empty grave and saw Him and thought He was the gardener has an inner meaning. God or Jesus is like the Gardener. He does not allow us to grow wild like a forest but as a well tended garden. He waters, prunes, grafts, harvests, deweeds, uproots at times, fences His followers. The purpose of a garden that is so well watered, well planted and well fenced is to bear fruit and fruit in plenty. That is our faithful response and responsibility. We should also remember that every well watered garden has one or more resident snakes or serpents. Off and on, little foxes will visit the garden and ruin the fruiting and flowering plants. We need to take the help of the Gardener to keep the snakes and foxes at bay or drive them into the bay.
Prateep V Philip

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