A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Secret Garden

My wife had been invited to a friend's house for the evening, to listen to someone talk about missionary work in India. The speaker was Indian and it took me several minutes to tune in with the lilt of his dialect. If you have ever heard a Welshman speak English you will have a little understanding of what I mean. I quickly realised that despite his soft voice and quiet way, he was speaking with power and authority.

He said something to the effect: "You send missionaries from your country to India and they wonder why their ministry does not bear fruit. They think that we are deprived, but let me tell you, that it's you who are deprived!" Whether he meant all western nations, our country or those of us in the room, was immaterial. I knew God was speaking directly to me!

He proceeded to speak on one verse from the Song of Songs. He said that before we 'go out' to work for God, we should spend time in secret in our garden with Father. We should continue doing this until we are so taken over with our Lover, that we have a spring within that cannot be contained. It will flow out to God and others. He illustrated this by saying that he had just stayed with a pastor in the next town. In the evening he invited him to join him in prayer, but was surprised to find that after only ten minutes the pastor was stuck for words. Whereas he could have continued all night if necessary.

His talk impacted upon me, but I confess that I allowed work, busy schedules and activity to get in the way. It was some years before I began to give it a high priority in my life.

I have a love for gardens. There's at least one walled garden that I find special, where I feel especially close to God. As I step into the enclosure I'm immediately aware of a closeness and an intimacy. It feels like coming home and within I say "I'm coming!" I slow right down and take in the heady perfume of the myrtle blossom and the riot of colour in the borders. As I tarry, peace descends. There's no need to speak, but if I do I'm not stuck for words. I feel like staying for hours, but when I do leave, I know something has happened inside.

We can find space anywhere away from wordly distractions, to be with Jesus on a regular basis and enjoy each other. When we eventually leave our 'secret' place, we take our 'garden' with us and just maybe, others may be attracted by the fragrance.

Nurturing this intimacy is essential if we are to flow with Jesus. It makes the difference between us trying to do something for God and allowing God to do something through us. It takes effort to find this time, but inside we know we want to and like a Lover, He meets us in our longing.

"My sweetheart, my bride, is a secret garden, a walled garden, a private spring." Song of Songs 4:12 Good News Bible

3 comments :

  1. Ken said...

    The missionary is right. Unless I spend enough time with God I don't have anything, at least not enough to fill me up therefore I don't have anything to give. I beleive that is the reason many pastors experience burnout. They aren't spending enough time with their Heavenly Lover to become refreshed.

  2. wayfarerjon said...

    Yes, this is fundamental. I had to find out the hard way - is there any other way? I found I was giving out from empty and experienced burnout. Many of us may desire a powerful ministry, but forget that it is God's power. And this springs from absolute surrender and a deep intimacy with Father.

  3. dadtalk said...

    This has been the hardest thing for me to do over the past year. I find that by the time I get home from work, catch up with my family, and the like, I am facing bedtime and another day begins.

    It is because we often don't see God in terms of our Lover or our family. If I must work hard to make connection with my family (wife and children), I must work harder to make connection with God.

    When I do take the time, God finds a way to expand my time, like the bread and fish, to give me more than I thought I had.

    Dave http://dadtalk.wordpress.com