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The garden of love

How would I describe living in the love of God? I think it is a garden of love. One day, I opened the Bible to Song of Songs; there I followed my thoughts deep into the book’s garden. The fragrance of God poured out, as if leading me into a rose garden where love was meant to be experienced.

Oh, what a beautiful place! I have never been here before, I have longed for but have never encountered this place, yet because He loves me, He has invited me in. What a beautiful place! I hold my breath, walking carefully, daring not to contaminate the crystal-clear sky, this holy and perfect love. I tremble, as I know I am not worthy to step into this garden. I hide and try to escape, yet He finds me, rushes to me, holds me close and looks at me with affection, leaving me no place to hide.

He takes my hand, saying to me softly, “Don’t be afraid, come with me.” A sweet perfume flows from Him, the fragrance of the rose garden. Oh, what is this force that intoxicates me with His glory? Oh Lord, your love is like a burning flame, melting the icy heart within me that was sealed for you. My heart pours out before Him, I shyly bow my head, take hold of His comforting hand, and follow Him forever. Oh, Lord, please enter the garden in my heart for I have finally found the owner.

In the past I was but a solitary shadow, but now I have met you. In the past, the water in the garden was as still as a mirror, but because you have opened the channels, now there is a source of living water. These are streams flowing down from the Lebanon mountains, from the snow caps, clear and pure, refreshing the soul. Oh Lord, may you watch over and care for the garden in my heart because it is Yours. Because of your living water, fruits of life and abundant glory fill the place. Only now do I realize, this garden I have been cherishing and protecting, was placed in my heart by You; Lord, this is not something I have planted or cultivated, rather You placed this garden in my heart long ago, that I might seek and not find, desire and not be satisfied, searching and waiting until now. This garden which was deathly silent has finally found its long-awaited owner. Oh Lord, you have given my garden your sunshine and living water; no more bitterness or fear, my heart rejoices with unspeakable joy.

All of these are Your arrangements, planned from the very beginning. You have been waiting for me, waiting for me to humbly come before You, to know You, to understand You; You waited for me to slowly fall in love with You, to willingly and eagerly open this garden in my heart to You – this garden that You have prepared for our love. Lord, now I know that You love me, You love me so much. You are not just a lofty and unattainable King, You are mine and You power my life and my love. I know what You do is beyond my comprehension, but I know You deeply love me and that is enough. I do not know Your timing, but I know my time in life cannot be without You.

What can I do to respond to Your love? What can I do to keep You close to me? I know there is nothing I can do for You on my own, because all things are under your reign. My King of Kings, please allow me to offer what little “perfume” I have here at Your feet – this painting inspired by Your love, this chapter written out of love, that the colors may flow from the canvas and display Your glory – that you may find it pleasing in Your love, Your love so wide and long and high and deep.

God says, “You were separate from Christ… without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:12-13)

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