Garden Enclosed

Struck this morning by the enclosed garden He keeps in us…He keeps in each one. And this keeping is solely for Himself. How often would I like to go and open hidden pathways of old and forgotten trails in this garden of my soul. How many times am I pulled into the temptings of believing that only what I now see and perceive is what is to be found – the current meditations, the current responses of love, the current understandings of His heart. Yet, in moments unexpected, my breath is caught in my chest as I see a glimpse of the garden He prepares for Himself in me – fruit and treasure not just new, but old (Song. 7:13; Matt. 13:52). Years gone by, forgotten. Words faded now from the pages of times behind me. Yet still wet with fresh ink are those words, dripping with affection, to His eyes and to His heart. Still with fresh fragrance are the flowerings of seasons past, fruits of love born out of the crushings of loving sacrifice embraced for His name. All is there before His eyes.

Oh how I fret over what I cannot presently feel. How I worry about what was once so alive and now seems so far. And it is true, fearfully true, that such things can be lost and such passions can truly die if I do not remain in Him. Yet such dyings are not the end of the one who remains in the Vine. For prunings come, and with them the cutting off of that which we think most dear. In our pruned state, we only see our lack, our barrenness, and we assume all is lost. But He knows the true story, the sure existence of that which He has cultivated, and that fruit which remains (Jn. 15:1-8). And even when we see nothing in the present, and we feel the pull to believe that yesterday’s sweetness and treasure is forever gone, He sees it all as it is. He walks about His garden pathways and reaches deep in His kept treasure, finding what He calls beautiful and precious and dear (Song. 5:1).

I am His enclosed garden, His for the roaming wherever He pleases, though I myself am not even so free to roam (Song. 4:12). For I am not my own (1 Cor. 6:19, 20). I entrust times past and fruits of yesterday into His keeping, not allowed am I to see them until the beautiful Day ahead when the shadows finally flee (Song 4:6). But He doesn’t wait until then. Even in these days, He beholds and partakes of the storehouse reserved — the history written — in me. I am His garden, reserved for Him and kept for His pleasure. And oh how He keeps me. How He preserves for Himself every fruit and fragrance in me.

He comes to His garden in me — and in each one of those that love Him — and freely drinks and eats of that which He has cultivated for His own pleasure (Song. 5:1). His perspective is not limited, as ours is, to that  which can be seen in the immediate. Where our memories and graspings for yesterdays treasuries come to an end, His supreme sight of all stretches out behind and ahead without limitation.

And here we rest when we feel cut off from fruits of our history, separated from the story He’s been writing, stripped of the beauties of times past. We are not our own for the enjoying. We are His. And His enjoyment of us is not limited to when we feel or experience or perceive. Always He is free to draw upon His rewards, His doings, His cultivations in our souls. He calls each one who is joined to Him His fountain sealed, His garden enclosed (2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Cor. 6:17; Song. 4:12).