I found myself in a beautiful garden, one filled with streams of clear waters and the richest of trees. The sun’s light was faint and yet I could see everything within the shadows. Beside me walked the source of this garden’s beauty, my dearest Jesus. We walked for quite a while, not saying a word, until we stopped at the edge of a glorious ravine. As we sat, I felt such peace and total serenity. Jesus turned and looked at me with those deep eyes and asked, “What do you love about me?”
As I gazed upon the glorious place I was in, many different answers seemed to flood my mind. Regrettably, after each answer He would very calmly ask me once again, “Yes…….but what do you love about Me?” I then realized He was not looking for answers that involved my physical senses or what my educated mind could comprehend. His inquiry could only be satisfied one way. I needed to answer Him with a revelation that came from the secret places of His heart.
Though this luscious garden reflected His provision in my life, it still paled in comparison to the inner riches of His heart. What then causes Him to create such beauty? On what grounds does He decide to extend His hand time and time again in my life? Do I really know or understand Him beyond what He has created and what He has done for me? All my answers suddenly fell so short and we once again sat together in silence.
Although we as Christians have faced various hardships and trials, we have still enjoyed more grace and abundance than many in this world. We have been placed in a modern day Garden of Eden in respect to abundant mercies and outpourings of the Holy Spirit. One would imagine that with many blessings, we would know more about our Provider than others less fortunate. Sadly, we seem to know less.
The word of the Lord came to Hosea during a time when God had given His people many insights to who He really was. These evidences came through His Word, His provision, and His protection. Yet time and time again, they enjoyed the garden more than the One who created it. They took its most luscious fruits, enjoyed the rewards of the Gardner’s sacrifice, and used the garden for their own gain. They neglected to see the real reason for the garden’s presence. It was never meant to be harvested and stored in barns. It’s unequaled beauty and value was merely meant to reflect the intense love of the Gardner for us.
I believe God’s plumb line in this hour is the same one He used in the days of Hosea. In Hosea 4:6 He declares, “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.” His people knew everything about the garden, down to the value of every last fruit, but when asked about the Gardner their answers fell so short.
I believe we are each going to be challenged with the question, “What do you love about me?” No one will be able to answer this question for us. We will only have our experiences with Him to aid us in our response. I pray each one of us will be able to lay down our gardening tools and discover our beloved Gardner – to thank Him for what He has so gracefully given us but declaring that the garden is not enough. The garden is nothing compared to the Gardner.