There once was a garden named Beautiful Garden that was surrounded by a white, picket fence with a welcome sign hanging on its gate.
Sweet Gate swung open freely whenever anyone approached it.
One day, a great ill wind blew across Sweet Gate, shutting it tight.
The wind picked up all kinds of trash and slung it up against the fence. Lose scraps of receipts and notes, debris and fragments of junk flew around and ended up in a pile at the foot of Sweet Gate.
Beautiful Garden, always ready to welcome others through Sweet Gate and share its display of beauty, was now shut off from any communication with others.
No one could visit the fragrant garden. Even the Master of the Garden couldn’t get close to Sweet Gate. He was shut out of His favorite spot to enjoy rest and conversation.
And Beautiful Garden suffered from the lack of the Master’s attendance.
The ground started to dry up because the Master could not offer His special living water, water that kept the plants alive and vigorous and producing all they were intended to yield.
Soon, there was a void in the once grand elegance of Beautiful Garden. Disease invaded all the plants, suffering from the lack of love and attention.
The trees dried up at the roots and the branches released their hold on their pale leaves, which fell to the ground in a heap. No more seedlings of hope fell for the future.
The flower petals began to fall from the graceful floral bouquets and they no longer emitted their fresh fragrance.
The birds no longer came to hold their daily songfests. No silly squirrels hopped from branch to branch to play Run Chief Run.
In the cool of the evenings, the sound of the tree frogs croaking their lullabies could no longer be heard. No crickets joined in the chorus. No fireflies blinked their dance of nightlights.
All that was left was the chill of the wind.
And Beautiful Garden and Sweet Gate both cried because the Master Gardener could not get in to take care of it.
One day, Sweet Gate, desiring the living water to invigorate Beautiful Garden once again, asked the Master to clear away the trash, remove the hurt and pain, all the miseries that kept it from opening to the love the garden so needed.
The Master gladly removed all the debris and said, “Now, allow Me to show you how to properly open and close your portal to prevent the pollution from keeping you shut. Just listen to the sound of My voice so that love can enter and pain can be kept to a minimum.”
And so, from that day forward, Sweet Gate opened and closed in the proper way to keep Beautiful Garden happy, well-strengthened, and vitalized.
May you understand the parable of the garden of your heart and the gate that welcomes others. God desires your heart to be a beautiful garden and says to you…
“My darling bride, my private paradise, fastened to my heart.
A secret spring are you that no one else can have—
my bubbling fountain hidden from public view.
What a perfect partner to me now that I have you.
Your inward life is now sprouting, bringing forth fruit.
What a beautiful paradise unfolds within you.
When I’m near you, I smell aromas of the finest spice,
for many clusters of my exquisite fruit
now grow within your inner garden…
Your life flows into mine, pure as a garden spring.
A well of living water springs up from within you,
like a mountain brook flowing into my heart!”
May you know how to use the gate wisely, and may your heart flourish as a fragrant garden, always welcoming the Lord…Lynn