The Garden Of The Soul Genesis 2:8

A garden. Genesis 2:8

Do you remember how we heard about the four gardens of the Bible and how we discovered that we have each been given a garden to keep—the garden of the soul? Today we are going to find out how to keep our soul-gardens.

Now you know there are all sorts of gardens. Some of them look very untidy and neglected; others are neat and well cared for. You can generally tell what kind of people live in a house by looking at their garden. We don’t want our soul-gardens to grow untidy and ugly, do we? We want them to grow more and more beautiful. But if they are to be beautiful we must take some trouble with them, because gardens don’t take care of themselves.

And so I think the first thing we must do is to make sure that they are well enclosed.

1. Why do people build a wall or fence around a garden? To protect it, and to keep out anything that would harm it. Of course we have no wild beasts in this country, but we sometimes hear of rabbits or deer getting into gardens and doing a lot of damage by nibbling the young green things. Once two cows got into a lady’s garden by mistake. Somebody had left the gate open, and the cows walked in and trampled on her beautiful flowerbeds, and left their hoof-marks on her lawn.

So we must build a wall of defense round our soul-gardens to protect them against the wild beasts of temptation from without. The best defense we can build is the defense of prayer.

2. But, besides being well enclosed, a garden must be cultivated.

If gardeners let their plants and trees grow anyhow, if they allow the weeds to flourish, their gardens soon become a wilderness. They must prune the trees so that they bear more fruit; they must tend the delicate plants with care and pull up the weeds.

And so it is with our soul-gardens. We must pull up the weeds of sin and bad habits—the weeds of laziness, and selfishness, and untruthfulness, and ill-temper—else they will soon overrun the place and spoil it. And we must cultivate the good things—the flowers of unselfishness, and kindness, and love.

But don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed all in a day. This is work which requires a great deal of patience.

There was once a little girl who went to spend Easter at North Berwick on the east coast of Scotland. She was very fond of climbing North Berwick Law—a hill close to the town. When she went home again she sowed some flower seeds in her garden. But after a week or two she grew tired of waiting for the seeds to come up; so she dug up her garden and built North Berwick Law in the middle of it. She was very sorry when a week or two later her sister’s seeds came up, and she had none.

So don’t get tired if the flowers in your soul-garden take long to grow. Don’t lose patience and dig them up, for they are sure to flourish some day if you tend them carefully.

3. Lastly, a garden must he well watered.

Sometimes after a long dry spell in summer you have seen the flowers drooping their heads and looking very weary. What do they need to revive them? A good shower of rain.

And our soul-gardens need rain too, the refreshing rain of God’s Spirit. We must ask God to give us His Holy Spirit in order that our gardens may be kept fresh and beautiful, in order that they may be made fit for His fair Garden of Paradise.

James Hastings' Children's Great Texts Of The Bible - This material seems appropriate for children ages 8-12.  Like the Great Texts Of The Bible (For Adults), this series examines the Great Texts of the Bible, but from a child's perspective. Each section begins with a scripture, and Hastings uses illustrations to relate the meaning of the passage for a child's life.  Hastings focuses on practical lessons and the moral of the story that children might apply to their lives. Because Hastings studied the classics as an undergraduate, many sections include classic poems and classic literature quotes.

Read more:
Genesis - Children's Great Texts Of The Bible by James Hastings