June 16, 2017

Gardening and Vacationing

Psalm 121

The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

—  Psalm 121:7-8

Being a gardener means my garden is always on my mind—especially in the growing season. This can involve both agony and ecstasy. With the garden gloriously blooming and with produce starting to hang heavy on vines and branches, tending the garden is on my mind daily. This made thinking about going on a planned vacation with my wife this past summer both a delight and somewhat worrisome. Who would watch over the garden? Who would pick the produce? Going away for a few days seemed almost like sleeping on the job.

This reflection prompts me to be all the more amazed with the Lord, the divine gardener. The creator of heaven and earth watches over us always. The Lord does not fall asleep on the job, and he protects us from all harm. The one who watches over all aspects of life in his garden does not go on vacation. It’s not that he is against vacations. He knows we benefit from time away to rest, rejoice, and rejuvenate in the wonders of life in his world. But he is God, and he doesn’t need a vacation.

I hope the Lord gives you some time off to rest and be refreshed and maybe even to travel and enjoy other places. Find peace of heart and mind as you reflect on how completely God ­watches over and cares for you.

Lord, thank you for watching over us and all things in your creation. Nurture us with the rest and refreshment you provide. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Don Byker

Don Byker has been a pastor since 1984 in various churches and institutional settings. Don and his wife, Donna, are the parents of four adult children, two of whom are married. Donna and Don are also the glad grandparents of three granddaughters. Currently Don is serving in a rural church in Michigan full of gardeners.

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