A farewell tour of my gardens at first revealed little more than dead leaves, shriveled stalks, and dried broken petals. Suddenly weary, feeling a heaviness throughout my body, I sat down in my favorite spot and closed my eyes, as if to block the unpleasant view. After a few moments, opening my eyes once again, the color of a new blossom shimmered, bravely displaying new life amidst the ruins.
New energy chasing the heaviness out of my body, eyes once dimmed by debris, now beheld new life amidst the ruins, promising yet another season waiting for its timely return.
Where all seemed dead and spent, new flowers peeked out at me, inviting me to a closer look. Beginning my tour again, suddenly signs of new life popped out everywhere: new growth on my rose bushes, tiny points peeking through the soil, timid blossoms on petunias and vinca, and tiny buds on azalea shrubs.
Welcome back to the garden for a time of Garden Grace, where we allow God to reveal Himself through His creation. Once a month we linger together gleaning all He has for us through the beauty of plants, trees, animals and insects. I can’t wait to share my most recent discovery with you!
The finality of ruins
Perhaps perspective plays a big role in how we view our surroundings. Looking back, I realized my thoughts that day resented the broken remnants of a once vibrant garden.
My mind focused only on the death of the garden, finding new life amidst the ruins seemed impossible.
Yet a few moments resting in the Presence of Creator God, breathing the earthy smell of dry leaves and soil, the Hope of His hand making all things new (Revelation 21:5) took root in my soul.
Though autumn beckons all things to a season of rest, it leaves the promise of new life nurturing Hope through a season of bleak dormancy.
the promise of new life
Where once my steps dragged through the garden paths, the signs of new life amidst the ruins brought a lightness to my step and a smile to my heart.
Pondering the beauty of the lesson before me, God took me deeper in appreciating the signs of new life in the dry bones of broken relationships, health issues, unfulfilled dreams, and desires.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.Ezekiel 37:4-5
In Ezekiel 37:1-14, God takes the prophet Ezekiel to a valley of dry bones and asks him if those dry bones can live. Ezekiel wisely defers to God. At which time God tells Ezekiel to prophesy the word of the Lord to the bones, exhorting them to “hear” the word of the Lord.
Savoring the promise of the return of my garden in a new season reflected in the new life scattered throughout, helped me also see, within the barren and dormant areas of the garden, life breathed deep beneath the surface though lying dormant for a season of rest.
Holding the dead leaves of a Hosta plant, musing, “can these leaves live again?” my mind drifted to an estranged relationship, one I despaired of ever seeing healed again.
The Spirit whispered, “Can this relationship thrive again?” Like, Ezekiel, I wisely deferred the answer to God.
But then my heart filled with the words of Ezekiel 37:4-5, and the Holy Spirit impressed me to speak God’s Word over the relationship that He might breathe new life into the broken ruins remaining.
new life amidst the ruins
While I stood amidst the ruins of my garden on a recent afternoon, I wondered if the heavy sadness reflected more than the ruins of a once vibrant garden. I think I now know the answer.
God met me in the ruins of my garden, with the gentle reminder of Hope in new life hidden in the dry, parched places. Hope of a renewed season of growth and vibrancy yet to come.
Hope not only for the barren places of my garden but Hope for the dry bones of brokenness in areas of my life which seem hopeless, destined never to see life again.
As I speak the word of God over each situation, the breath of new life continues its perfect work, until one day, the beauty of all things made new bursts forth once more.