The way God intended for it to be
My friend Tim is amazing at gardening. In hardly no time at all, he's transformed his back garden from being an overgrown forest of shrubs, trees and even a few fox dens, into a tranquil sanctuary of cultivated flowers and plants, serene decking, and enough smooth gravel-lined pathways to make a Buddhist monk feel right at home.
I, on the other hand, am rubbish at gardening. The grass in our back garden is so tall you'd need a machete to reach the back gate. The other day, my wife returned home from a week-long trip away to discover all the plants in the hanging basket next to our front door looking completely dead, as though Hiroshima had just occurred in our front garden. When she asked me why I hadn't watered them while she was away, my honest reply was that I hadn't even noticed them. I'd been in and out of that door at least twenty times without even a hint of recognition in the direction of those poor drooping flowers hanging right beside my own two eyes!
Thankfully, God has a seriously different approach to gardening than yours truly. He loves gardens. We find one right at the dawn of time, as Adam and Eve are placed in (and given charge of) the Garden of Eden. Eventually, they get expelled from their perfect garden when Eve partakes of a certain forbidden fruit from a tree, which ultimately spelled death for her and her husband. This was the beginning of the fall for all mankind.
Ironically, God's plan to re-instate all mankind and bring them back into relationship with Him, also finds it's beginnings in a garden - the Garden of Gethsemane. Here we find Jesus presented with the prospect of partaking from a fruit he really doesn't want to take. "Let this cup pass from Me," he prayed to His Father in heaven. "Nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done." In the end, as we all know, Jesus did take that cup. He paid the price for not only Adam and Eve's sins, but all our sins by dying on the cross and then rising from the dead - an act which ultimately brings life to all who believe.
Who knows, maybe at the end of time we'll once again find ourselves in a garden, this time a heavenly one, much like the original garden back in Eden. If we do, there are a few things I'd like to ensure. First off, I want to share my patch of the garden with my friend Tim (that should need no explanation). But most of all, I can't wait to bite into that amazing fruit from the tree of Life along with Adam, Eve, Abraham and all the rest of God's people - exactly the way God intended for it to be with no sin or evil around. And judging by the price Jesus had to pay in order for us to taste it, I'd say that's going to be one rich bite.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
Chip was born in Florida, raised in Jerusalem, Israel and currently resides in Stockport, England with his wife and two kids. www.chipkendall.com
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