Garden in my heart

What is actually the essence of entering into a relationship with God? And what makes it so difficult for many people to connect with God? These questions keep me busy because I am still writing a book about intimacy with God. And also because we are organizing our first training day on this subject in November. It also concerns me because the Bible says that real, eternal life is centered around that one mission: getting to know God and his Son Jesus better and better (John 17: 3). Last week during a leadership training, during a moment of worship, I had an image. It was in a room where Jesus asked me if I wanted to walk with Him in a garden. I couldn’t help but think of the garden of Eden where Adam walked with God in the evening cool. In my mind I asked Jesus where that garden is. He said, “I’m talking about the garden of your heart.” Jesus wanted to take a walk with me through my heart and He calls my heart a garden. I had never looked at my heart, my insides, like this before… The image I got coincided with an assignment that the full-time students were doing. The Present Foundation helps people who for one reason or another (physical or psychological problems or difficult circumstances) have had their home or garden neglected. It is sometimes quite shocking to see how neglected a garden can be. The people who live in the house sometimes say that they try to ignore it and come into the garden as little as possible. I can well imagine that it feels very vulnerable and uncomfortable for these people to allow strange people into their garden, which does not look very acceptable. It is impressive to see how much work the students do and how beautiful and clean a garden looks after a day. It is sometimes confrontational to take a walk in the garden of your heart. Perhaps it is a place that you prefer to ignore because you are ashamed of what is there to see. You have come up with all kinds of tricks to keep yourself, people and God away from the garden. Jesus’ request to take a walk in the garden of your heart is not a nice request, but a temptation. The garden is of course ‘just’ a metaphor, but it is often true that we prefer not to look into our hearts. We prefer to maintain an illusion where we pretend on the outside that everything is fine on the inside. We have become so adept at this that we (often without realizing it) enact the same play in our relationship with God. God calls himself “I am that I am”. With this He says that He is the Present, He is there in every situation. What it also says is that God alwaysis. If you want to meet God in ‘the inner room’ you can assume that God is (who He is). The challenge lies in allowing us to learn toare who we are. Not a polished version of ourselves or making ourselves acceptable first (whatever that may be), but coming to Him as it is. If you atI am comes likeyou are , then there is the meeting your heart longs for. Do you know the garden of your heart? Do you ever go there or is that still too uncomfortable? The special thing about the picture I got about this was that Jesus challenged me to show Him around my heart. Instead of taking me by the hand, He wanted me to take Him by the hand and show Him my garden. I was allowed to open the gate and choose the route myself, very loving and safe. This may sound simple, but in my experience it is difficult for many Christians. It takes training and openness to each other to learn to share your heart with God. Next month is the first day of training on Intimacy with God. My prayer is that it will not only be a day of sharing information, but of sharing hearts and walking in gardens. httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IMiCvRc-9g https://www.royalmission.nl/activities/trainingsdagen/

About Martin Dol

Getrouwd met Annemarije en vader van 3. Hoofd Onderwijs binnen Royal Mission en gek van geo-cachen.

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