A writer tells of an elderly woman who said, “My heart is a little garden – and God is planting flowers there.” Every heart should be a little garden. We should always keep it clear of weeds, and full of sweet and beautiful plants and flowers. A garden-spot is not only a thing of beauty, but it is also a blessing to all who see it. Even a window box, filled with its bright color, is a blessing. God desire for us to make our lives so beautiful that they will redeem one spot of the world from dreariness, and transform it into loveliness.
The picture of a garden runs throughout all the Bible. The first home of the human race was a garden. Jesus was buried in a garden. When He arose, the spring flowers were blooming all around His grave, filling the air with fragrance. And wherever His Gospel has gone throughout the centuries, flowers of joy, hope, peace, life, and love have grown. He is changing the wilderness into a garden of roses.
The life of each person is a little garden which he is to care for and keep. In an ancient Bible song, the story of such a garden is told. It is not some other person’s garden that we are to care for, but our own. Some of us find it easier to look after the gardens of our neighbors, rather than our own little patch. But that is not our duty.
The ancient song further represents this garden as being in a condition that is not its best. And then there is a prayer to the winds that they may come with their awakening breath, to blow upon the garden and call out its beauty and sweetness. Without over-spiritualizing, this prayer may be taken to suggest what is needed in very many lives. “Awake, north wind! Come, south wind! Blow on my garden and waft its lovely perfume to my lover. Let him come into his garden and eat its choicest fruits” (Song of Songs 4:16).
The thought here is that the trees, plants, and flowers in this garden are still lying in the clasp of winter. We know how this is the case right before spring comes. The trees are bare, but there are thousands of buds only waiting for the breath of the warm sunshine to make them burst into living blossom. The rose bushes are bare and briery and without beauty, but it only needs spring’s genial air and gentle rains to clothe them in marvelous loveliness. The fields are dreary and without life, but there are millions of green roots only waiting for the spring sunshine to make them rush up into lush verdure.
This is the picture that is suggested in the prayer to the winds: “Awake, O winds, and blow upon this wintry scene, to call out the beauty, the fragrance, and the life.”
Is this not also a true picture of many of our lives? Are not our gifts and powers lying in unopened buds? Are we living at our best? Are our lives as beautiful as they might be? Are we as useful, as thoughtful, as helpful, or as kind as we could be? How much we need to pray this prayer continually: “Awake, O winds of God, and blow upon the winter-locked garden of my heart, so that the chilled life in it may flow out!” The prayer suggests that only the Spirit of God can call out the gifts and graces of our lives. We cannot wake up the love for others in our hearts, without the Divine inspiration.
When the missionary Henry Martyn reached India, he wrote in his journal, “I desire to burn out for my God.” Such a passion can only be kindled only by the Divine breath. The beautiful qualities of Christian character are not mere natural abilities and virtues; they are spoken of in the Scriptures as the Fruits of the Spirit. If our garden is to come to its true beauty, our prayer must be that the winds of God may awake and blow upon it. Nothing will bring out the life of the gardens and fields after the chill winter, except the warmth of the sun. Nothing but the love of God will draw out the spiritual powers and possibilities within us. Even the disciples of Christ, after being with Him for three years, were not ready for service until the wind of Heaven blew upon them on the day of Pentecost.
What month is it in which we are living today? Is it still a winter month in our souls? March is the month of bare trees, unopened buds, imprisoned beauty, and slumbering life. Is it March within our hearts? If so, shall we not pray for the winds of God to blow upon us, so that out little gardens may be filled with beauty and fragrance and life?
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God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for the King’s glory,
photo by Matt Anderson on Unsplash
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on our website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.