Thursday, June 15, 2017

Walking in the Garden - Martin Wiles

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. Genesis 3:8 NLT

Walking in the garden was a Sunday afternoon tradition.

Edisto Gardens is located in Orangeburg, South Carolina—the only town the 250-mile-long Edisto River passes through. The river is one of only a few Blackwater rivers—so named because the decaying vegetation falls into the river and gives it a black appearance. A smaller pond filled with fish and turtles idles near a rose garden where prize roses show off their sparkling blooms. 

Several paths meander on either side of the paved road snaking through the middle of the gardens. Moss-covered oaks keep most of the garden shaded. Several small covered sheds provide a resting place for those who want to sit and admire the beauty.

When I was a small boy, my paternal grandfather brought me here every Sunday afternoon. It was our alone time. We stopped in the sheds so I could read the names of those who had disobeyed park rules and carved their names in the wood. 

We ambled along the river’s edge to the waterwheel. It served no purpose but continued turning as if it did. And my granddaddy held my hand as I walked along the rock wall, trying to maintain my balance. Spending time in the garden with my grandfather was always enjoyable.

Walking in the cool of the Garden of Eden with God must have been enjoyable for Adam and Eve as well. Wondering how two people could walk with God—or questioning whether or not He was physically present, misses the point. They spent time with their Creator. How long this continued before the tempter showed up, we can’t be sure. I suppose growing older interrupted my walks with my grandfather. Disobedience did for the first couple. 

God wants nothing more than to enjoy these garden walks with us.

It happens initially through accepting what His Son did on Calvary’s cross, but it continues thereafter through the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers. Sin, misplaced priorities, busyness, and any number of other things can disrupt our garden walks, but they don’t have to. 

Though God expelled Adam and Eve from the garden, He still walked with them when they confessed and sought reconciliation. He’ll do the same for us when we copy their behavior. 

Don’t let anything interfere with your garden walks with the Father. 

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your willingness to walk with us through every day of our lives. 

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