Personal Study Questions:
Monday, October 26, 2009
I Come to the Garden Alone
By Judy Vandiver
I planned for this series of devotions on my gardening dreams and attempts to be in five parts. But this week, two related things happened in my garden and I found that God wasn’t finished with this set of lessons.
Let me tell you about the first incident. I enjoy staying up late at night and several nights ago, around midnight, I noticed that the fountain and waterfall in the back yard were still on. The problem, however, lay in the fact that the switch to control these items is on the backside of the house near a gardening shed. This is an unlit area of the yard and is pitch black at night.
I had no desire to traipse through the garden in the dark, so I did what any good wife would do. I woke my husband up. I didn’t intend for Steve to turn the fountains off, I just wanted to know where the flashlight was. Steve, however, said it was easier to go turn the water features off than it was to find the flashlight. So that’s what he did.
The next night, we forgot to turn the fountain and waterfall off again. Again, it was midnight. Again, I woke Steve up. The next day, hubby did something special for me. (No, he didn’t lay the flashlight out where I could find it.) He installed an extra light in the back yard.
It’s a small, beautiful light that focuses on the waterfall in the corner of the yard. It gives just enough light to see on the backside of the yard. And in addition, he installed a remote switch to turn off the light, the fountain, and the waterfall from inside the house. Isn’t he thoughtful? He said he did it for me, but we all know he did it because he likes his sleep.
But, Steve didn’t tell me about the light. During the day, I didn’t notice it, as it made no difference in the bright sunlight. Later that evening, Steve went to bed, and soon, I checked to see that everything was turned off and locked for the night. As I checked on the backyard, I saw the soft spotlight reflect and glimmer against the water trickling over the waterfall. It enhanced the feeling of peace I get from my garden. I've attached a picture of this corner of the yard.
Next, I did what any good wife would do. I woke Steve up to thank him for the new light in the garden. He eventually went back to sleep, but I stayed up a little longer, sitting in the garden, watching the light reflect and play on the water and rocks.
The next morning, I took my coffee, devotional book, and Bible to the backyard. I turned to Luke chapter two. As I read about an angel of the Lord appearing to the shepherds, I noticed that he came to them at night. The devotional book I read from commented that many times we can see God’s glory better at night.
I thought about this and I remembered the spotlight Steve had placed in the yard. I didn’t see the new light until it became dark. I didn’t notice it until I needed it. And then I wondered how many times, I have failed to notice God until I need Him for my selfish purposes.
I think many of us are probably guilty of this. Even when we recognize and live for the Lord, we don’t always notice His true glory until we are captured within a dark moment. Sometimes all around us must be dark before we notice our light source.
2 Corinthians 4:6 says:
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (NIV)
The first chapter of the Gospel of John tells us that Jesus is the light of this world. In His light, we can see ourselves as we really are. We all know light as something that dispels the dark. And we know that light is often described as the absence of light. Perhaps circumstances only seem dark, because our moment is temporarily void of the true light.
The next time you face a dark moment, ask God to shed His light on both you and your problems.
----------------------Tomorrow we will finish this mini-sage of my gardening attempts and the spiritual lessons God taught me. Earlier this week, my husband took a picture in the garden. When we looked at the digital image on the computer we were both amazed to see something that had been unnoticed as we sat in the garden. God had yet another lesson. I'll share that lesson and the picture with you tomorrow.
Personal Study Questions:
When was the last time you experienced the true glory of God?
How has God been more visible to you in dark times than in untroubled days?
What areas of your life are currently in the dark or maybe in the shadows?
What light might God’s word illuminate on that situation?
Memorize John 8:12: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Copyright 2009 by Judy Vandiver