“And the Lord God took the man and put him in the
Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
It’s early morning after ‘springing forward’ and I am managing the chill with a cozy fur throw and the tiredness with my hands wrapping that oh-so-good first cup of coffee. As the sun streams through the window, the hope of spring draws close and I gaze through the glass daydreaming about my plans for the overgrown and sleepy garden.
In my mind’s eye, I can already see the freshly cut rose bushes pushing through the recently frozen ground, exuding that exotic fragrance that only roses can put forth. The beautiful lavender tree shades the walk as the perky little faces of the morning flowers greet me from their just tilled beds. I smile at the perfectly trimmed grass, budding leaves from the giant oak and all the ivy and bushes coming to life. Oh I love what spring brings, but really…who will do it?
Isn’t that always the way? We see the greatness of what could be, but scramble to find the time to create it. God set Adam in the garden and gave him explicit directions to tend, guard and keep it. The word ‘tend’ means to ‘watch over, cultivate (nurture, care for), or look after.’ To ‘keep’ means to hold or retain one’s possession, maintain, or have custody of. The word ‘guard’ means to safeguard, shield or watch over. The Garden in Eden was man’s perfect environment; a paradise to behold. Adam’s job was to take care of the garden that God entrusted him with. They enjoyed walking the land together until temptation drove Adam out. When the Lord gives us a thing to do; when He calls us to tend, guard and keep a relationship, a ministry, a nation or a people we must cultivate it on a continual basis to make it strong and productive. Our garden must be watched over and nurtured to keep it strong and productive. We must maintain it and safeguard it from disaster. If not, just like any garden, it will depreciate, become overrun with weeds and become an eyesore.
I turned away from the window knowing that I will diligently work to keep the garden of my Eden alive just as God would have me do. In Love, with Joy I will be obedient to His call and with every piece of soil that falls through my fingers dropping a seed to the ground, the Holy Spirit will touch the heart of someone somewhere.
Treasure your Eden. Thanks to all the missionaries that are tending their gardens with zeal and commitment. You are amazing.