Friday, 6 July 2012

Delightful growing

I used to say that I didn't enjoy gardening.

That was when I didn't have much of a garden to DO anything in! Our old house had an open-plan front and side garden, with no fencing to keep the children in.  I couldn't take them out to do much gardening there, in case they ran onto the road.  Plus, it was only really shrubs.  Not very interesting!

The back garden was a lawn, a path and one solitary (but very pretty in the spring) tree.

I tried my best - I always had a few hanging baskets in the summer...(summer?....I think I remember having them before, but seem to have forgotten what that is this year...sorry, I digress...)

I was forever taking snapshots of flowers when were visiting gardens on days out...dreaming of a day when I could have such delights in my own garden.

(alium, in the gardens of Wimpole Hall)

(Irises at Wimple Hall - GORG-EOUS!)

(camelia in Somerset, in the grounds of Dunster Castle)

But now?  NOW, I have a truly delightful garden.

It has lawn, patio, cute little borders, climbing plants and pretty walls of all brick types.

(Lovely climbing plants clamber along the fencing at one side of the house, and cover the area where our bins live.)

My boring looking border at the front has transformed into a delightful array of pretty flowering plants, of which new types seem to appear every day!  Poppies, irises and various other things that, as yet, I have NO idea what they are! Pretty - that's what they are!

I have now planted (sorry, my CHILDREN planted...aherm...) some gorgeous new plants in the back garden.  My journey to the bin and back now has me stopping to see how my flowers are doing! How much more substantial are they looking?  Any more flowers?  And, oh so sad today - some poor little stems broken in the wind! *sad face*

(lupins, lobelia and hydrangea)

I'm looking forward to adding more flowers and plants as the days go by.

But, all this delight in my garden got me thinking.  Thinking about what we should REALLY delight in.

Did you know that we are told 8 times, in the scriptures, that we should delight in God's Word?

Most of those occur in Psalm 119, unsurprisingly!

The first is in Psalm 1

"but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night"
Psalm 1:1

Then, the references in Psalm 119 point us to several great reminders of how we should live daily surrendered to God's word...and how it will enrich our lives.

"I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." 
Psalm 119:16

Do we hide God's Word in our heart - do we delight in it enough to memorise it, and commit it to our memory...deep in our heart?

"Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors"
Psalm 119:24

Do we look to God's Word as our counsellor?  As the place we turn to for advise and wisdom, rather than friends or family.  Do we seek HIM first?  Do we delight in those wise words above all else?

"Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight." 
Psalm 119:35

When we are making decisions in life - seeking a path for our future - do we delight to search God's Word for His instruction in life, and the way we should walk, before making big decisions?  Rather than basing them on worldly wisdom?

"And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved." 
Psalm 119:47

Do we LOVE to follow God's commandments? Do we delight to follow His ways, rather than going our own selfish way?  Do we love following after Him, rather than longing after the world, and it's fancies?

"I delight in thy law"
Psalm 119:70

Do God's commandments bring us delight or despair?  Do we remember that Christ has died to fulfil the law, and that we are free from it's legalisms?  That we have the law to delight in, as a pointer to Christ, and not something to fear and keep as some sort of duty for salvation or betterment?

"Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight."
Psalm 119:77

Do we come to His tender, merciful words - day by day - moment by moment?  Bringing us life, and refreshment - in the barrenness off the empty world around us?  Renewing our inward man, and reviving our souls?

"I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight."
Psalm 119:174

Have we come to Him today, delighting in our salvation.  Seeking Him, and His word, when we face trials and difficulties.  Looking up, instead of around?


Reading the Word of God should not just be a routine.
Something that we do as a daily duty, or as a habit,  good as that habit may be.

We are to DELIGHT in the reading of it.  Delight in the knowledge that we are listening to His Words to our heart.  His wisdom and guidance.  His blessing and encouragement.  His rebuke and reproof.  His love and His mercy.  So much is contained in these words, and we should delight to soak them up - to absorb them into our heart and mind - to be satisfied by them. 

How easily our daily devotions can become a habit, in which we take no delight.  We take our eyes off the richness and beauty of what we are reading.  Words from God Himself, directed to US! What a privilege and joy that should be.  Not simply a daily duty!

Let each of our days be filled with delighting in God, above all else that we have been given richly to enjoy.

1 comment :

  1. It is a great reminder for me to remember to not allow routine to move in on God's turf. I think habit seems such a horrible word for time with God, but unfortunately it does become just that. A routine which we feel obligated to carry out. May I constantly find delight in my Savior. Thank you!