She lives in a garden. A beautiful garden filled with sunlight. When, as a young woman, she was asked to envision her life, she saw herself living in a high rise apartment in the heart of a big city with a potted plant as a companion. Instead, God, in His infinite wisdom, placed her in the center of a magnificent garden, surrounded by blooms of incomparable beauty. By her “yes” to life, she was given it in abundance and worked day and night, lovingly tending her little patch of Heaven.

She had never considered that each time a new seed was sewn, the boundaries that defined her, would expand, too. The rougher edges of selfishness that she was never able to file away, gradually smoothed. “This is who I am!” she thought in wonder and marveled that her own sense of self had so altered from those early days of musing.

But the little path that wound through her garden one day became a rocky road and one of her little blooms had lost its color. Another no longer unfurled its petals. Another still had become choked with weeds having moved to a soil much different than that which it had enjoyed in the shelter of the garden. She began to despair. Gazing in wonder at the lovely blooms that filled her world with color, she still sighed for those which seemed lost, and redoubled her efforts to tend the ones that needed her care. But many times she would leave her large garden and travel the rocky road to find those bruised and trampled flowers. Fighting predators and disease, she tried to offer remedies and comfort. Oftentimes, she would barely recognize them…their beauty so marred by neglect, their fragrance diminished. Her little flowers had forgotten the garden, and though tended so lovingly for so long; they had lost all memory of the original Gardener, who had so lovingly nestled them in a place of love and security. She grieved. A cloud had descended that covered the sun and she feared that her skills were no longer sufficient to tend such a large garden. Every little weed, every little bug seemed an enemy of monumental proportion and many days she trembled and watered that garden with her tears.

But then the Gardener reminded her that these little blooms were only ever loaned to her for a time. She was to tend them with her whole heart, body and soul, giving life-water and light until the time that each might settle roots in other fertile soil. But she could not choose that soil for them…for just as the original Gardener had let her choose where and how to sow, so must these frail flowers do. He told her that His best gardeners kneel in the midst of dirt and stone, rock and mud and wait for the promised yield, each plant blooming and producing according to its kind and schedule.

She gazed lovingly amongst the tender blooms and shoots around her, secure in the knowledge that her efforts are not in vain. For as surely as the sun rises and sets, as the dew and raindrops fall, so shall her garden, through her patience and diligence, burst into fruit and flower in His time…

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11~