"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord."
~ Psalm 27: 13,14
"I come to the garden alone," are opening words to one of my favorite hymns. For many years the garden has been a place where I find great satisfaction in my life. It is a place where I get my hands dirty, reflect while pulling weeds, and often where I sit and work through many of the problems that I face.
For Christ the garden served as a place where he would go to be alone and to pray.
Solitude can be the garden for our hearts. It is the place where our aloneness can bear fruit.
It is the home for our restless bodies and anxious minds.
Solitude, whether it is connected with a physical space or not, is essential for our spiritual lives.
Finding our way to the place where solitude can be found isn't necessarily an easy journey for some of us. For some solitude is an uneasy, insecure and fearful place. Distractions and over-thinking problems can make the garden an uncomfortable place. The preparation that goes into a garden, including the plans, does not make the situation immediately satisfying. It takes careful placement of plants, protected roots, water, sun and time.
Just like the rolling hillside we would farm years ago on our farm, there were many areas that could serve to be treacherous if not planned well.
The hills with their rocks and slopes, could easily spell trouble if not careful of how you maneuvered equipment along the terrain. The garden can be a place where we meet our demons.
But if we do not run away, we will meet there also the One who says, "Do not be afraid. I am with you always, and I will guide you through the valley of darkness."
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.