Life began in a garden.
I did not say this, rather it is the Word of God that says it.
God says He created a beautiful world and then He created man and placed Him in a garden, the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:15
At this time of year when the gardens are wrapping up and harvest is on full tilt, gardens display a kaleidoscope of food, colors, shapes all leading to sustenance for people. I drove by crab apple trees today and the cooler night temperatures (it was only 4 here this morning and I heard some of Gr. Prairie got a touch of frost last night) have increased the color to bright red of the crab apples. They were glowing adorning the trees in brilliance.
When God introduced man, namely Adam to the garden He gave him instructions to take care of the garden. This is interesting that God gave the first ever job description, to be a gardener. Since the beginning of time, we have been given a purpose to work, to care for, to tend and the first job was a gardener.
Gardens are usually places of peace and beauty, places of life and growth, but they take work. If you want a garden and are not highly motivated – do not plant a garden, it is great effort to keep on top of the weeds, the climbing plants, the plants that should not touch the ground, the fruit and the harvest.
Bouchard Gardens in Victoria have been around for over 100 years. The VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver have been around for over 50 years. Why?
Because gardens are places of exquisite beauty, offering serenity and comfort to all who venture in, there is healing in a garden. We get awestruck over the miracle of what one seed, bulb or root can become when cultivated and cared for. The gardens are places that we, people, the government, investors have deemed worthy to invest time and money into, valuable and priceless.
In a garden there is death and then life and it has to be this way and in this order. A seed has to die in order to produce a plant with fruit and seeds.
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12: 24-25
The whole concept of God is that He gives in order to produce more, just like in a garden. If we remain in ourselves, and focus on ourselves the end result will be a harvest of well, ourselves, kind of boring.
If we give to others the way God has given to us, the result will be a plentiful harvest, a bumper crop, and just like in a garden we must die to ourselves in order to reap a bountiful harvest.
I believe the fact that the garden was God’s first introduction to man was not some happen chance place because it was beautiful. God purposely chose a garden, a place of beauty but also a place of death and life to illustrate to mankind the purpose and meaning of life. God said He made man in His image and that image was first as a gardener. God is the original gardener.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus poured out drops of blood when He agonized about the death He was about to enter. Again, we have a garden, in that garden of Gethsemane, we have to have death which turns to life when Jesus decides willingly to lay down His life.
After His death on a cross, Jesus body was placed into a tomb, not just any tomb but a tomb in a garden. John 19:41
Remember gardens represent life but there must be death first. Jesus dead body was resurrected in a garden. When Mary the first person to see Jesus resurrected body, she first saw Jesus in the garden, she thought He was the gardener, and in reality He was. See John 20:15
Jesus, sacrificial death, a death He willingly laid down His life for, was for our benefit. Jesus death opened the door for us to enter into life with God. His one sacrifice opened the door for billions of people to enter into a relationship with Almighty God. Death followed by life, just like a lone seed planted can produce many seeds in a garden.
The end of the Bible, the book of Revelation also talks of a garden: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:1-2
Gardens – a place God treasures, a place God builds, a place of healing and peace, a place God thought enough of to begin and end the Bible with, but also time and eternity with. A place that God designed with mankind in mind, His first setting for mankind.
If we are made in the image of God then how do we continue on the garden?
With our life. Our life is to be a representation of a garden, a life of peace, serenity, love, beauty and growth. We are to sow into others lives with our own.
I have a line in my prayer book that states, “God let me be a place of soft, fertile ground in which you can plant and produce an abundant crop.”
Today, think of how your life can be more like a garden bringing refreshment, life and growth to those around you, replicating the master gardener of all time.