I love walking in the garden at this time of year. New life springing up everywhere, the swollen buds bursting into tender green leaves and colourful explosions of flowers. The optimism of this season is a welcome reprieve from the long, cold, dead winters we endure.
The natural world always causes me to consider the one who created it. There is such design, beauty, and balance that often causes me to say how wonderful the person who created it is! I know how hard it is to create a beautiful garden.
Pests, diseases, weeds, and weather mean that the devoted gardener sweats and toils to keep things looking good. However, hard work and heartache are not the natural order of things.
Did you know that the first occupation was gardening? God created the first man and put him in a garden to tend it. It was a wonderful place with no sickness or death.
Sadly, it didn’t take long for things to go wrong. People wanted to be as great as God and broke the one rule he gave them. This rebellion had huge consequences: we were banished from God’s garden and his presence. Death entered the world, together with thorns, brambles and stinging wasps! The man’s work became hard and painful.
“Hard work and heartache are not the natural order of things.”
This is what we experience today: a tendency to chaos and disorder, always plagued by things that destroy and kill. Our gardens and our hearts will never be perfect. If only someone would help!
Jesus is the answer to this prayer. He left heaven and entered into his broken creation in order to heal it, to make it better and restore it to God.
Just before his death, Jesus spent time in a garden. He was deeply troubled because he knew he was about to be killed and pay the penalty for breaking God’s law – a rebellion that started all the way back in that very first garden. He was completely innocent, but he paid our debt in full. He died instead of me, and instead of you!
It doesn’t stop there. Jesus rose back to life after three days and, because of what he did, all of creation will be made new again. That includes people, plants and animals.
The whole world will be re-created, and the trials and hardships we face today will be done away with. We will be allowed back into the King’s garden … paradise! The new life I see in spring is an annual reminder of this wonderful hope that I have in Jesus.
Jan is also a keen photographer – see some of his nature photos from the garden.