The Man of Many Gardens
What Garden are you planting in this life? There was a man of many gardens. Spreading his seed about the land. This man’s first garden was planted in fertile soul and it brought forth blessings from God above. However, the man was not satisfied and instead of tending to that garden, began to look at others, eventually abandoning that garden to plant another on soil his eyes were pleased with. But the man was fickle and kept moving from garden to garden. In some cases, uprooting the seeds he planted in some gardens before they took root. Then, he fell into another land and planted seed there, tried to uproot it, but it took root and brought forth another blessing. But the foolish man was coveting his neighbors garden and began lusting for that man’s crops, until the man caught him in his garden and drove him out.
Then the man fell into a terrible state and found himself unable to move, work or even think about planting seed. God made it so that the man had to look at his life, the many gardens he left unattended, due to his covetousness, abandonment and neglect. The man was overcome with great remorse. He had been brought to humility and disgrace. The life he had led did not glorify God, but his own desires. He sought God’s forgiveness, repented and promised God that he would lead a life dedicated to service to God and by His Word.
Slowly God began to restore him. His mind, spirit and flesh were renewed, and his body began to heal. Then God blessed him with a new fertile land, cultivated by God and said, “Go, plant your seed. And from this Garden I shall get Glory out of your harvest.” The man blessed God and started to plant, nourish, cultivate and grow both in The Word and his garden began to flourish.
Then satan came, that old devil, who had studied this man from the day of his entrance into the world. The devil dispatched his minions and a spirit of wickedness fell over the man and he found himself backsliding into his old ways that God had delivered him from. Soon the man was overtaken, and his covetousness returned. His hands began dipping into other gardens not meant for him. The land God had given him, he left unattended and abandoned. God dispatched saints to caution him, whisper Words of correction to help him see the error of his ways and get aligned back with God’s Word. However, his heart was hardened, and eyes blinded by sin. He was left outside of God’s will and protection to his own foolish desires.
In the 29 Chapter of the Book of Jeremiah, God had given his prophet Jeremiah a message for the children of Israel that they were to remain in the land God had placed them in, build their houses, plant gardens so that they would have food to eat, be content and obey those who had rule over them. But the people, much like the man of many gardens, were disobedient and ungrateful for what God had done for them. They were sinful, but because of His Love for them, God still made a way for them in a land that He had them in and was protecting them, despite their sinful ways.
Today, we find ourselves in a similar situation. Quarantined, each nation and its people made to remain where they are for their own protection, subjected to the rule of those over them, required to shelter in place and tend to our own gardens. These gardens being our families and, if we had the foresight to do so, our own literal gardens. But like the people of Israel, there are those among us who are recalcitrant, unwilling to obey, not just God, but those who have ordered we remain in place. Whining and crying about the lose of personal rights and freedoms. And those who continue in disobedience will suffer just as the disobedient Israelites did.
Let us be obedient. Let us tend to our gardens that God has blessed us with. Invest time in your marriage, in your children, they are both the garden God gifted you with. Don’t abandon them. God has given you this period to nurture, grow and strengthen them so that He might bless and keep you during this pandemic. Listen to the advice to stay at home, observe social distancing, wear a face mask and gloves and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds throughout the day. God will step in and end this purge. You are only asked to pray for His divine intervention and be obedient to His Word and the directions of those over you.
You see, there is nothing new under the sun. What happened before, is happening again, how we respond – whether with obedience or disobedience – will determine if we and our loved ones are spared or if we are responsible for unnecessary grief, loss and a dying garden. Amen