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March 2020

“God’s Garden of Grace” a Devotion by Pastor Ralph J. Mineo

There’s a novel titled “Being There” (made into a movie 36 years ago) about Chance Gardener, a simple-minded man, who basically only knew how to garden. Through a series of “chance” events, his “gardener” talk becomes interpreted as high economic principles. He appears on talk shows, and even meets with the President of the United States, who applies his advice to the economy (to ride out a recession).

Chance Gardener simply says: “In the garden, growth has it’s seasons. First comes Spring and Summer, but then we have Fall and Winter. And then we get Spring and Summer again.”

After being questioned, he affirms: “After Fall and Winter, there will be growth in the Spring.” What appeals to me is that this simplicity is true, and it seems very scriptural. Life’s rhythm is like a garden: life, death, rebirth.

The prophet Isaiah (chapter 61) puts it this way: “As the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.”

Isaiah is clearly teaching us about the rhythm of God’s gift of life. After grief, a believer’s life sprouts into joy and gladness. After the dirge, a song of praise rises. Those who live in the Garden of the Lord become strong trees that God has planted.

Life is a beautiful garden when God plants the seeds. God gives the growth, even when seeds are sowed in discouraging times. Therefore we celebrate with great intensity that God comes down to us in a Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord! No greater seed has been planted upon this earth!

This is what I believe: God’s love and grace ALWAYS comes down to us. God’s love and grace always cycles back to us. After a Winter (a time of pain), there will be a Spring (new growth). After the Cross, there is Resurrection!

Chance Gardener also said: “As long as the roots are not severed, all will be well in the garden.” May our roots be the gospel of Jesus Christ! God is planting blessings in the garden of our lives! Have you visited God’s Garden of Grace lately?

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