In the Garden August 2016

By: Shirley

 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,

but that which is good to the use of edifying,

that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

      Ephesians 4:29

 

Spending time “In The Garden” (literally or metaphorically) with The LORD can be both grievous and joyous at the same time. To elaborate, being in His presence, because He is holy, causes us to become painfully aware of our faults and failures; and yet as we recognize our sin and repent we experience a sense of forgiveness that brings joy to our souls. It’s also amazing how we are able to see things through His eyes as we allow Him to commune with us. Although He’s gentle in the way He enlightens and corrects us, it’s crushing when we see our faults and failures through His eyes.

 

I have come to realize that whenever I am surprised by a violation or injustice or betrayal, whether perceived or reality, too often I have initially responded hastily and thereby overreacted. (This is a pattern of behavior that I have recently become aware of.) My overreacting, in turn, usually results in causing: emotional trauma to others, overreactions by others, indignation by others, alienation by others, or even all of the aforementioned. In addition, I have come to realize that I should keep quiet at those times (moments) of engagement in order to take time to ponder and process how to handle whatever the issue may be rather than risk offending whomever it is I am interacting with, for it is written,

“Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry, for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”     Ecclesiastes 7:9

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

 

These occurrences are especially painful and remorseful when the behavior occurs between people who care about one another and normally enjoy one another. Unfortunately, once damage is done it can change, and in some cases even ruin, a friendship or relationship. One can only hope and pray to find a way of reconciliation and restoration.

 

Episodes of blurting out uncharacteristic responses undoubtedly flow from dross within one, and are undeniably examples of being hasty of spirit, which The Bible says exalts folly.  (Proverbs 14:29).

Surely when one exhibits this kind of behavior, The good LORD is allowing this to happen in an attempt to reveal an awareness of dross within one’s self that needs to be brought to the surface and purged in order to be purified, as it is written,

“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.”      Proverbs 25:4

“And I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross…”                                Isaiah 1:25

 

My tendency or pattern of behavior may not be one of your’s; however, if you are willing to spend time “In The Garden” with The LORD, chances are that you, too, may discover from Him that you have one or more destructive tendencies and/or patterns of behavior that need to be recognized and purged. Do you feel an excessive need to control, or are you intolerant of correction, or do you have a desire to receive an inordinate amount of credit/glory, or are you full of pride and unable to humble yourself? Whatever your failures or faults, take heart and know:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:19

 

Regardless of whether our behaviors stem from disappointments or frustrations within ourselves, or roots of bitterness for one reason or another, or whatever the source may be; let us not be hasty of spirit; and let us be mindful that awareness of our sin without repentance accomplishes little, if anything. Let us have a desire to change…for His glory.

 

Could it be that in His mercy The good LORD is giving us signals that His judgment is nearing, and that He is purifying us in order to keep us from being consumed by His judgment?

“But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…”  Malachi 3:2,3

 

“‘Create in us a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within us’.

Cleanse us, and make us holy; for Thou art holy;

that we may stand in Thy presence when Thou appeareth.”

Psalm 51:10