In the garden (09-11-2021)
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5)
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Last Saturday, Rob and I spent the entire morning in the garden. It was a rather grey day and not particularly warm either so we wrapped ourselves up in hats, gloves and extra pairs of socks before going outside. There was lots to be done in the garden. I started by clearing away the last of the summer bedding plants from the beds. As I pulled them up and then cut them into small pieces to go into the garden waste I reflected on just how glorious they had been all summer, their abundance of highly coloured flowers had brightened up every day.
While working I looked up and noticed one of our neighbour’s trees was in full autumn colour. The leaves were many shades of yellow and orange and red. Even on a dull day it was looking beautiful, so I paused for a little while just to admire how lovely it was.
Once the beds had been cleared my next task was to plant tulip bulbs ready for next spring. I dug holes and planted each of the bulbs deep into the ground. Already some of the bulbs were showing just the very early signs of starting to grow. Once they were all planted nothing could be seen of where they were, but I knew that next spring the green shoots would appear and a wonderful display of tulips would follow.
As I gardened I reflected on the Christian journey. Like the bedding plants that had been so lovely all summer, it was good to remember all of the wonderful things that God had done in the past. Like the tree in its amazing autumnal colours, it was good to stop and remember how God is working in lives in every season; even when we feel as if we are living in grey days, God is still at work in us. And finally like the tulip bulbs that had been planted we live forever with the hope of what is to come.
Every day we need to thank God for what he has done in the past, what he is doing in the present and remember to live our lives in the certain hope of what he will do in the future.
Father God, we thank you for being with us all the time, in our past, in our present and in our future. Help us to see your work in us each day.
Song: Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart [with lyrics for congregations] - YouTube