June 03, 2017

Walking in the Garden

Genesis 3:8-13

The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

—  Genesis 3:8

One of my great joys is walking in my garden “in the cool of the day.” This is especially delightful in early summer, when plants are healthy and blooming with the promise of maturing fruit. However, as summer fades, plants begin to die as produce withers and rots on the vine. The delight of a walk in the garden turns into a mild case of despair.

The change in the garden of paradise was much more sudden for the Lord. The delight of his walks dissipated like a morning mist as he found his garden caretakers afraid and hiding from him. The most beautiful “plant” in his garden was showing the first and fatal signs of decay and death. The forecast for a healthy harvest became mixed and dreary. I cannot imagine that God did not experience a deep sadness over his deteriorating garden.

I know that the process of change and decay my garden goes through every year is normal. Still, I am always a little surprised and feel a sense of sadness when my garden takes that turn toward dying and death. My walk in the garden is spoiled, and I am disheartened.

I know that God could not have been surprised when Adam and Eve sinned. Thankfully, he still took his walk in the garden that day to find them—and he does the same for us.

Lord God, we see change and decay all around us. Thank you for still coming and walking in your garden—to find us. Tune our ears to hear and respond to your call to us in Christ. 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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