Posting the last few devotionals I wrote for Words of Hope on the topic of Living in Wonder has helped me to focus more deeply on God as Creator. This week as I tended my garden I thought about my role as a gardener who delights in my creation, my garden. The reflection gave me renewed appreciation for the concept of God delighting in God’s creation – and particularly in me.
The work in the garden began with the realization that I would have to dig up two formerly gorgeous day lily plants which were dying. As I looked closely, I saw that they were covered with blight from little black and orange bugs which I had never seen before. Not wanting this to spread to the many other lilies in the yard, I dug them up. I nearly cried because these were the first perennials I planted in this yard about a dozen years ago.
As I contemplated the empty spaces now present in the landscape, I decided to transplant a blanket flower (Gaillardia) which had conquered the border of the garden and was thriving even though it was squeezed between the border and cement. Hot July days in Michigan are not ideal times to transplant mature plants, but I dug it up anyway and, with fear and trepidation, moved it to the empty spot in the garden.
I really wanted that plant to survive. I checked it at least twice a day and watered it just as often. Yesterday, I trimmed back the dying stalks and plucked the dead blooms. I watched over that plant like someone who had created it, attempting to breathe life into it, delighting in every bloom and green leaf. Today when I checked the plant, it was thriving and I was thrilled!
That’s when the metaphor struck me. God as the creator and sustainer of all life – even mine – hovers over me with the same delight and care as I showed that plant. He breathes over and waters and prunes and watches in anticipation for me to bloom where I am planted – and transplanted. He longs for me to carry out the vision he had when he imagined me. He delights in every bit of growth and beauty he sees in me and watches vigilantly for any weeds or drought or insects that might destroy my story.
“The Lord your God is with you . . . He will take great delight in you” (Zeph. 3:17). I wonder if Zephaniah had a garden.