The Morning Garden

“Sing aloud to God our strength;
    shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
Raise a song; sound the tambourine,
    the sweet lyre with the harp…

In distress you called, and I delivered you;
    I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah. 
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!
    O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
    you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it…

Oh, that my people would listen to me,
    that Israel would walk in my ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies
    and turn my hand against their foes.
 Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him,
    and their fate would last forever.
But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Psalm 81:1-2,7-10,13-16

“Morning by morning he awakens;
    he awakens my ear
    to hear as those who are taught.” Isaiah 50:4

Fresh air wafts across the lush yard, cheerful birdsong the only sound as the early sun barely lights the new day. The vibrancy and still beauty of the garden beckons and strums all senses, awakening the heart to joyful wonder and the music of gratitude.

When we rise and enter the morning garden of God’s fresh delights, we voice our praise, are reminded of His mercies and magnificent works on our behalf, bring our needs, and receive His refreshment and satisfying beauty. He loosens and uproots our creeping roots of sin, cleansing the crud of our iniquities. He blows fresh breeze of inspiration, He fills our senses with lofty thought and praise. He speaks, He sustains.

From the vantage point of distress and testing, would I come? From the place of thunder and foes, would I come? With song, with needs, with temptation, with hunger, would I come? With arms ready to receive and embrace, with ears tuned to listen, with heart soft to be molded, with mouth open wide, with feet ready to be directed, would I come?

Would we shake off dull sloth, and enter the garden? Would we soak in the dew of our salvation, its life-giving, vision-clearing renewal? Would we open His word and drink in the delights of His magnificence, His character, His ways, His enabling, His light and truth that transforms? Would we allow Him to tend our souls, and cultivate and order with His expert hands?

“Morning has broken
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them, springing
Fresh from the Word!

Praise for the sweetness,
Of the wet garden,
Like the first dewfall
Eden saw play.
Praise with elation,
Praise every morning,
God’s re-creation
Of the new day!” ~Eleanor Farjeon (1931)

Father, I humbly, hungrily come to obtain fresh joy from you, and in You. Satisfy me each morning with Your unfailing love that I may rejoice and be glad, and fill me to overflow so I spread Your fragrance and loveliness all around, all the day. (Psalm 90:14; Isaiah 29:19)

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