Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Tale of Two Gardens

I have never successfully grown a plant.  Ever.  I've tried growing houseplants, miniature indoor rose plants, African Violets (yes, I know those are tough), and even succulents...SUCCULENTS.  The plant that NOBODY can kill, but I can.  My one and only succulent did last about 3 months, which is a longer life than my other attempts at green thumbing.

I'm not an outdoor girl, so I don't even want to attempt to try and keep a garden alive.  That's like spinning plates, right?  I can't keep one potted something alive, how in the world would I keep three or four different plants growing.  The one thing I've had success growing is butterflies, so I'll give myself the moniker of crazy butterfly lady because I won't be a crazy cat lady...I don't like cats.

Even though I can't grow those beautiful flowers or budding plants, I do love flowers. They are so fragrant and colorful.  The other night I was walking down the sidewalk of a local outdoor shopping center and noticed the large urns of flowers they had planted along the way.  Man, I wanted to just go "snip, snip" and take a bouquet home, but I figured if there would be anyone that would get caught stealing fresh flowers, it would be me. 

Recently I was asked to be on the launch team for Sophie Hudson's newest book, "All in All: A Journaling Devotional."  If you've never read her work, let me stop a moment and tell you to go order all her books.  She writes like she talks and she's southern through and through, but most importantly she loves Jesus.  This new devotional journal is targeted to youth and college age girls but as I'm going through each of the 100 days, I'm enjoying her perspective on how Jesus truly is our All in All.

She mentioned how perfectly God has placed us in this world with the glory of sunrises and the calming beauty of sunsets.  God could have decided to just turn the lights off and on, but He didn't.  Sophie reminded me that He chose to place us in this beautiful garden on Earth.  That got me looking around for the uniqueness of His Creation.  I really did stop and smell the roses - or gardenias or whatever was in that large shopping center urn.  

That got me thinking about the first garden...Eden.  We really blew that one.  Adam and Eve had it perfect...truly perfect.  But the desire to be like God and not be obedient, caused them to be cast out of that perfect place.  And they lived with a list of other things God told them as consequences for their sin.  

We focus a lot on how we live in a broken world - and we do.  And how we won't experience that perfection again until Jesus returns to bring the world back in order - and that's true.  But think about this.  We live in a garden.  Oh, it has sinful people, horrid tragedies, and brokenness at every corner.  But really look around.  We DO live in a garden.  God could have place us in a dark and dreary place.  But we have gorgeous sunsets, white sandy beaches, fragrant flowers, a bright sun that rises majestically, and even caterpillars that turn to butterflies.  We are blessed.  How much does God love us that He would place us in just a smidgen of the wonderfulness of His Creation to prepare us for that day when we'll live in a New Earth that is beyond our imagination?  One garden that's perfect.  One garden that's broken.  One Rescuer to come again to restore us to perfection.  

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