By LAURA LEE LEATHERS
Time to come to the garden alone
The flowers are beginning to bloom.
Birds, bees, and butterflies start to loom.
Meanwhile, I come to the garden alone,
To be in His presence, before His throne.
Like a dried, withered seed, seemingly barren, I come,
But in the Gardener’s hands, like a beautiful plant, I become.
Isn’t it amazing how a seed that looks withered and dead produces new life? Sometimes an individual’s life can be like a seed. There are days when we are weary, withered and worn, especially after dealing with so many of life’s issues. Life is stressful! It seems like more and more stress is being added to our lives, without any subtractions. I’ve thought about starting an Overwhelmed Anonymous group, but I couldn’t come up with the step program because I was too overwhelmed!
When life is overwhelming, it is time to go to the garden — alone.
As I thought about this particular tea theme, the hymn “In the Garden” came to my mind several times.
Read the words of C. Austin Miles’ song slowly: I come to the garden alone / While the dew is still on the roses / And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, / The Son of God discloses.
We need to come to the garden alone because our focus should be on hearing the Master Gardener’s voice, with no distractions. I come to the garden because I can vividly see things growing, maturing and producing fruit. Only He can transform a dried-up seed. Just as a seed needs dirt, light, water, pollination and cultivating, He provides us with the Living Water, the Sonshine, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the ability to take away the weeds (sin), which want to choke out our growth. The more we read and study the Bible and pray, the deeper our roots grow.
Time for tea!
So right now, please take a moment and prepare a pot (notice I didn’t say a cup) of your favorite tea. Currently I’m using Raspberry Rose Hibiscus from The Republic of Tea. Place a tea cozy under the pot and place it on a tray, along with your favorite teacup and a scone or muffin. Head out to your garden or back porch. Be sure to bring your Bible, pen and journal.
Pour yourself a cup of tea. Turn to Genesis 1 and read the account of creation. What new things did you observe?
Pour yourself another cup of tea and go to Luke 5:16, ESV; John 18:1-11; and Matthew 26:36-46.
◆ What did you notice about Jesus?
◆ Was He overwhelmed?
◆ Take a few moments to record your thoughts about these passages of scripture.
◆ Ask God to take away the feelings of being overwhelmed and replace them with His peace, wisdom and guidance for your life.
◆ Ask for creativity and the ways He wants to use you to produce fruit for His kingdom purposes.
Time for gardening!
Finally, pick up a pack of your favorite flower seeds (perhaps forget-me-nots) and plant them in a pot or create a friendship garden area. As they grow, and while you are cultivating, pray for your friends and the strangers you will meet this year. Ask God to show you ways He can use you to bring encouragement to them.
Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed with life to go to the garden alone. Instead, begin each new day walking with Jesus.
By the way, tea did originate in the garden!
In this new season of her life, Laura Lee hopes to focus on her three passions: freelance writing, sharing and serving through hospitality, and cultivating Lady Laura’s Garden, a cut-flower farm. You can contact her at LauraLeeLeathers.com.