In The Garden

I was walking in down the steps with my family. The kids all made it down safely with my husband and I, except my oldest. As I stood at the bottom of the landing, calling for her to come, she squealed in terror. It was dark outside. Rain was coming down just enough to frustrate me.  My hair was beginning to frizz. I was irritated. I found myself bitterly asking myself,”why can the two year old made it down the stairs, and why is the eight year old giving me a hard time?” In that moment of grumbling I began to get irritated and yell, but God nudged my heart. He said, “go help her.” As I walked up the stairs in the rain, I reached my hand out to her, and led her. 

I told her to trust me. I’ve walked this path before. She was still reserved and real hesitant. She began to walk a little quicker. I told her to put her feet where my feet have been. I warned her about the steps she was approaching. They were a different color, and were hard to see in the dark. She stepped on them with confidence. I told her to brace herself near the end because a board was loose. Even though I knew she would have been safe, and that piece of wood could hold her weight;  I still warned her. I knew it would be alarming to her if she didnt see it ahead. She smiled, and the lord brought a song to my memory. The song is an old hymninal that would be sang in the older church I attended. It’s called “in the garden.” The part the lord brought to my mind was, “and he walks with me, and he talks with me. He tells me I am his own. Oh the joy we share, as we tarry there. None other has ever known.” 

In that moment I realized my moment of inconvenience taught me such a beautiful lesson of how God sees us. He waits patiently. He guides us out of the darkness. He warns us of what is to come so when we get off balance, we are already prepared. He goes before us to prepare places for us. He loves us so much that the little things that we get caught on, he gently awaits. Then comes back and rescues us when we ask for help. We trust him because we know he isn’t going to let us fall. 

I spent a really long time trying to earn God’s love. I didn’t comprehend how vast it truly was. I knew the scriptures. I knew the songs. Honestly some of the songs I heard would rub my flesh wrong because I felt like “daddy” or “papa” were so disrespectful to our lord. I would say he should be revered . He demands respect, he demands authority. All I could imagine is a small child. It seems disrespectful to me. Then one day began really pressing into his heart. I prayed, “ I want to hear you so clearly. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Let me see myself as you see me” 

He told me to rest. I was writing, ministering to multiple women, doing a bible study, homeschooling two children and actively taking care of two toddlers. I was attending every single church service, and having non stop praise and worship blaring. My husband was gone at work all week, and even out of town frequently. I was burning a candle at both ends and wondering why I felt so tired. Resting didn’t seem like an option, but I began to rest anyway. That’s when He told me he was proud of me, and I didnt have to do anything to earn his love. I already had it. My “works” wouldn’t make him love me any more. My disobedience about a situation wouldn’t make him love me any less. He started showing me his heart.

 I began to have compassion on people like I never had felt before. Suddenly the person in front of me in the line at the grocery store would bring me to tears. The thought of the mother who was divorced and struggling would bring me to my knees. The thought of the homeless man would bring up such compassion. It was no longer, “oh that’s awful, or poor them.” It was now I asked for the heart of the father, and I got it. I would feel my knees shake. The woman who dealt with demonic strongholds in her life wasn’t annoying to me anymore, but I viewed her with compassion, and wanted her set free. 

So often we get so focused on an image of what “the church” should look like that we get upset with baby believers because we expect them to immediately be sanctified, and it doesn’t work that way. It’s a process. It’s a place of dying to yourself and allowing the thoughts of God to be our thoughts. It’s the words of Jesus that resonate in our spirits, and the Holy Spirit comes in and gently corrects us. It’s a process. I used to get annoyed at the people who called God, “daddy” but the reality is, I should have had that child like faith and recognized who I am in Christ. What if we believed what we spoke? What if we shouted, “I am a daughter of the king!” “I am a conqueror.” “I am precious, and fearfully made.”  What If when we spoke it, we believed it? 

My father is proud of me, and he loves me for who I am. He loves me because he knew me before my mother’s mother was born. He knew how many times I would fall away before his word finally penetrated my heart. He knew I would have a zeal for him, and chase him with everything one day. He never gave up on me. He doesn’t get annoyed like a father in the natural world. He doesn’t keep a scorecard of your wrongs, and hold them over you when you mess up. He leads, guides, and directs you. He loves you so much he sent his most precious gift (Jesus) to die for you. He was the ultimate sacrifice . Jesus in the garden could have easily said, “I don’t want to do this.” He could have easily called down angels that would have destroyed the entire earth. As Adam in the garden had a choice, so did Jesus. Adam chose sin, but Jesus restored our intimacy with the father. He paid the debt. He overcame sin, death, hell, and the grave. He took the keys. He ascended to heaven and sent the comforter. The precious Holy Spirit dwells in you when you accept Jesus as lord and savior. No matter how hard you kick and scream about issues, he’s standing there gently leading you the right way. 

I think of the love I have for my children, and it’s such a dull love in comparison to God. I think no matter how much they may irritate or upset me, that I would lay down my life for them. When God says to be “fruitful and multiply” I wholeheartedly believe it is so we can have the slightest glimpse of how much he loves us. He loves us thousands of times more than we love our own flesh and blood. 

Friend, you are worthy. You are enough. You are a child of the king. Straighten up your crown and let him lead you. Talk to him, worship him, sing praises and adoration from your mouth to him. He loves you so incredibly much. You don’t have to earn his love. You don’t have to beat yourself up for things in the past. Let him heal you. Lay it down, and as he brings up the root, ask that he exposes it fully. Ask him what you need to do with that memory/person/thing you see. Ask him what he wants you to do. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so you could relive your past. He came to set the captives free. He loves you so much that he will stay and guide your every move and step. Let your father love on you. Then get healed, and shine so bright that his goodness pours out from you onto others. 

One thought on “In The Garden

  1. I am so happy for you Emily. As soon as I started reading this the song In the Garden popped into my mind before I ever saw the the part where you mentioned it. I am so thankful for how that Father God is using you. You are able to reach people that many can not reach. Love is abundant & God has Blessed you with a love in your heart that not many have!! Love you sweetie.
    Cathy

    Like

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