Knee Pads and a Hoe

Genesis 2:8 “Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man he had formed.”

Observation: Genesis 2 begins to give more detail of God’s provision for Adam. Gen. 1:27 tells us that we were created in His image, then this business about a garden hints at His greater purposes behind our creation.

Application: Prior to this, “no shrub…had yet appeared on the earth and no plant…had yet sprung up.” (v 5) But God had specifically gone to Eden, apparently moments before creating man, to plant a garden. There He made “all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” (v 9) Then He “took the man and put him in the garden to work it and take care of it.” (v 15)

Why a garden? Why didn’t God plunk Adam down on a rocky seashore or a high mountaintop? Why not in a desert or a dense jungle? After all, these and much more were in His inventory of potential new places to show off. But God specifically made a garden, a place of romance. Kings and king wannabes across the earth value gardens as places of refuge and respite, places of retreat from the heat of the day. Filled with a symphony of songbirds to delight the ears and a profusion of flowers, the full palate of sounds and colors and fragrances overflow the senses. What a perfect place to meet one’s Bridegroom.

And what of the work God gave Adam to do there? Can I really imagine that Adam’s assignment came with knee pads and a hoe? Not likely. This garden had not a weed in sight. If Adam had been made in God’s image, then surely his work was of a kind with God’s own work, not actually creating out of nothing, perhaps, but certainly enjoying creation. The profusion of butterflies, the sweet tastes, the chorus of sounds, and the cool of streams…enjoying these was Adams work. And of course, this garden was to be the place of lovers meeting. Romance blossoms in gardens, and this one was perfect in every way.

Why is it so hard for me to just “be” with God? How long at one stretch, really, do I simply sit and contemplate His beauty? When was the last time I just breathed in His fragrance and allowed myself to revel in His delight in me? The problem isn’t clocks and calendars and airline schedules. The problem isn’t demanding bosses or kids’ runny noses. The problem is my choices. If I have been filled with His Spirit and restored to Him, is there not once again a garden for just Him and me? It is my choice to meet Him there and to linger once again.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, when I think about going hard after You, keep me from the error of “doing”; cause me instead to simply “be”, to seek that place of romance You have prepared where we can enjoy one another forever.

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