"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. The garden has been a place for many years where I find great satisfaction of life, while serving as a place where my mind can work through problems.
For Christ the garden served as a place where he would go to pray.
Solitude is the garden for our hearts, which yearn for love. 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.
Growing up on a farm in Southern Indiana, I knew the hillsides very well. As I would mow I knew where the land dropped and where large rocks were located, just under the surface. Like those hillsides, the garden can also 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, and I will guide you through the valley of darkness."
May we all find ourselves walking in the garden in peace.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.