A clear theme of REST emerges for me this summer. Please take me up on my offer and enjoy a few moments of REST while you read my posts on Stillness, Breathing Through the Psalms and Finding True REST. Few places endow me with the soul rest I seek than my garden. The voice of God in the garden whispered my need for rest through the voices of creation. Are you ready for some garden grace today?
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 many voices of the garden
My favorite place for seeking rest and quiet is the garden. A hopeless introvert, I spend my days engaging and investing in others with the hope of my coveted “quiet time” in the garden where I recharge my proverbial batteries.
While the garden most nights is bereft of human voice, it hums with its own array of voices. One night, I wondered if my ears equalled the task of keeping up with all the garden chatter. Greeting the songs and chirps of birds, hum of busy bees, and most surprising to me of all, the quirky muk-muk of adult squirrels! It took me some effort figuring that one out!
Ethereal voices of the garden
Woven in the midst of the bustle, the delicate sound of the evening breeze tickled my ears even as it gently stroked my face. Yes, the breeze whispers a sound for those who listen. A sound so graceful, yet strong in its allure to come away and rest.
Then the piece de resistance, what I delight in calling my heavenly instrument, the wind chimes, thrill my soul with a song. Calling them a heavenly instrument stems from the fact they hang quiet and still until summoned by the breeze. And then, as it were, the fingers of God issue a melody never the same twice, intimate and exquisite.
the voice of god
Listening to the sounds of the garden, God not only spoke rest to my soul, but whispered unique lessons through the voices of His creation. Come apart with me, rest and listen to the voice of God in the garden; hear the voice of grace in each encounter.
what’s in a (bird) song?
Of course the most boisterous garden inhabitants are the many birds both visiting and nesting in our yard throughout the year. Witnessing robins daily splashing in our waterfall fountain and birdbath along with cardinals and catbirds getting their fair share of bath time provides a relaxing diversion from the day’s busyness. On an especially hot night the finches assert themselves for a turn too, which never lacks comic relief.
Feathered visitors and nesters to our yard also include scrappy blue jays, grackles, wrens, brown thrashers, woodpeckers, mourning doves, tufted titmouses, chickadees, barn owls, and the delightful hummingbirds. As much delight as the bird antics provide, their unique and enchanting songs fill my evenings with joy. I found the video below which has many of the birds providing our listening pleasure-give it a listen, you may recognize some of your friends.
The Voice of God in Bird Songs
Listening for the voice of God in the bird songs taught me three things:
- Birds sing in all conditions. Aside form the practical side of communicating danger, luring a mate or indicating location; they chirp or sing regardless of conditions. Good weather or bad, rain, shine or cold; nothing quells their song. How do I use my voice? Do I sing despite my circumstances?
- Birds have unique voices. God gave each bird their own song. No two are alike; a bird is easily identified by it’s song or call. The uniqueness of their calls speak the miraculousness of their Creator. God gave me a distinct voice too, and He intends I use it for His glory.
- Birds sing in praise of God. Uniquely, depending on the season, we hear birds singing while it is yet dark. Scientists aptly label this the “dawn chorus”, while admitting they have no clue why birds sing at this time of day in addition to dusk. I submit they begin praising God before the sun rises, never wondering IF it will rise, but praising God it will rise. They “bless the Lord in all parts of His dominion” (Psalm 103:22) just as He created them to do, fulfilling the psalmist’s charge, “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6) Do I praise God in the dark, trusting the Son will rise?”
Consider the voice of the bees
The voice of God in the garden hums through the various bees lingering over the bounty of flowers. Many say the hum of bees is the voice of the garden. Take some time to view this video on the hum of bees.
The Voice of God in the Bees
We have no beehives nearby, but our garden is largely a pollinator garden, keeping many bees present at all times. They favor the Liatris just next to our deck and I often sit on the steps within inches of the flower, watching and listening to the soothing sound of the bees. You may already know the amazing things I learned about the hum of the bees, but if not, “bee” amazed with me!
- Bees humming promotes healing. The actual sound of the humming of bees stimulates the release of feel good hormones serotonin and dopamine. The humming provides rest to the body and nervous system. While soothing to humans and other animals the bee humming soothes and heals their colony. Have you ever noticed how soothing humming can be to a restless child? Where do I seek soothing for my restless soul? Is the humming of bees God’s way of soothing and healing my troubled heart?
- Bees humming is unique. Unlike birds, all bees make the same humming sound, though some louder or softer through the vibration of their wings. (and a few other geeky things you don’t need to know) The true exceptionality speaks of a Creator, however, in that all bees vibrate at about 246 hertz; which is extremely close to the key of B on the piano. How unbelievably cool is that? How often do I tune my voice to that of the creator?
- Bees can maintain their humming indefinitely. Bees vibrate their wings to comunicate, but most importantly for the purpose of cooling or warming the hive. They maintain the vibrations as long as necessary, seemingly unwearied by the task. How long do I keep at a task the Lord gives me to accomplish?
Whispers of the wind
The wind whispers mysterious to me; at times menacing as in a storm, while at other times, almost lyrical as in a gentle garden breeze. Man harnesses the power of the wind for electricity, or for the pleasure of a time on the water in a sailboat. But, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:” (John 3:8)
It takes a deep stillness and intensity to hear the whisper of the wind. Is it any wonder the scriptures liken the Spirit’s movement to the wind? Often, remaining in stillness is where we most clearly hear the His voice.
I rejoice in the luxury of lingering in the garden stillness, listening for the gentle voice of the breeze, but my great delight comes when my wind chimes add lyrical expression to that voice. Enjoy a Selah moment with the wind chimes in this video.
The Voice of God on the Wind
Though the birds and bees captivate my attention and rejoice my soul, the deeper stillness of resting in the gentle breeze literally beathes life into my soul. Like a tender nuance of God’s love for me, the whispers of the wind or the ethereal sound of the wind chimes lure my soul to intimacy with the True Lover of my soul.
- The wind has no origin. Meterology may determine the wind direction, but it has no ability for determining origin. Similarly, God has no origin; He is eternal. The Spirit moves mysteriously in our lives; like the wind, sometimes powerfully, and at other times, gently. “Do I submit my will in stillness to the eternal God?” or “Do I stand firm, feebly attempting opposition to the Spirit?”
- The wind is invisible. While the other denizens of my garden visibly minister rest to my soul, the wind has no visible shape or form. I observe its movements in the surrounding grass, trees or subtle movements of the flowers as confirmation of its presence, but view no form. “Do I trust God with eyes of faith when I cannot see Him?” “Do I delight in the visible signs of His Presence?”
- The wind gives voice to wind chimes! Wind chimes hang silent until the fingers of the wind gently give voice to their beauty. The tubes of the wind chimes constructed of various metals, wood or bamboo are intentionally “pitched” for musical sound, but only when the wind caresses this instrument does melody issue forth! Each wind chime boasts uniqueness and issues its own personal sound. “Just like the wind chime, I am unique, and uniquely used by God; do I allow Him to use that uniqueness for His work; HIs voice?”
the voice of god in the garden
The peace, stillness and beauty of the garden long drew me there, pursuing communion with God through His creation. Until recently, my eyes encountered Him there; He spoke to me of Himself through the marvels of His creation.
Now, the lyrical tenor of His voice fills my ears with glory once missed. Seeing Him in every detail of His created world overwhelms me with majestic wonder. Hearing Him in the song of the birds, the hum of the bees, the whisper of the breeze, beckons me into deeper relationship still. For “I am my beloved’s, And my beloved is mine. He feeds his flock among the lilies.” (Song of Solomon 6:3)
Writing this post, the old hymn, “In the Garden” kept coming to my mind. The lyrics seem so perfect with the topic. Leaving you to listen to this time worn classic.