Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Garden



One day, in the fall of 2008, I decided to take a day of solitude.  I went to a nearby site with historic buildings and a large flower and plant garden.  The purpose was not to enjoy everything, but to quiet myself.  As I sat silently in a secluded vantage point in the garden, I was finally still enough inside to hear the voice of God.  He ministered deeply to my soul, assuring me that I could trust Him despite the pains of life.

A few days ago, I came across this paragraph in my readings.  Instantly I was transported back to the garden experience, because the words are nearly identical to what I heard that day.

“It is impossible to be wide open with someone you don’t trust, let alone with a God whom we cannot see and whose ways we don’t always understand!  Subconsciously (or even consciously), we may blame God for some of the difficulties and traumas we have experienced.  Though we may have a hard time admitting it, these traumas and disappointments have caused us to wonder, Is God really good?  If I trust myself to him, isn’t there a good chance that I will wind up where I least want to be or that God will withhold what I want the most?[1]

Amid seasons of pain and suffering, I must admit that it becomes difficult to trust that God is good.  That was in the fall of 2008, and I have returned to that conversation with God over and over.  When I try to continue as if nothing is wrong, my spirit slowly withdraws in pain.  When I admit the difficulty of trusting, it is as if He breathes new life and hope into me. 

No matter what we face, God is near.  He is able to field our toughest questions.  He is still good.  He is trustworthy.  No matter what we face, He has already faced it.  He walks with us in our suffering and strengthens our hearts.

Hebrews 12.3: For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (New American Standard).









            [1] Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 117.