Garden of Grace

garden-heart

grace-3My Reader, just as you would dig into the dirt of your flower gardens, are you ready to  dig a little deeper into the understanding of how Jesus unlocks the gardens of our hearts? This week we look at the last stanza of the praise chorus entitled The Garden of My Heart. Although the Lord inspired me to write this chorus many years ago, I will admit that I have gained more insight into the meaning of the words through writing these blogs over the last four weeks. I pray our garden times together have been beneficial for you as well.

Jesus, unlock the garden of my heart;
awaken love in me.
I
 want to sit at Your feet, as the great mercy seat,
in the garden of my heart.
I want to laugh; I want to sing;
I want to dance with the King
in the garden of my heart.

Jesus, unlock the garden of my heart;
awaken love in me.
I want to gaze in You eyes, so that faith may arise,
in the garden of my heart.
I want to laugh; I want to sing;
I want to dance with the King
in the garden of my heart.

Jesus, unlock the garden of my heart;
awaken love in me.
I want to feel Your embrace, and receive Your grace,
in the garden of my heart.
I want to laugh; I want to sing;
I want to dance with the King
in the garden of my heart.

Jesus has unlocked the garden of my heart! Now I receive a personal hug of grace! I have the privilege of being embraced by Jesus after I have sat at His feet and gazed into His eyes. There has been a progression of intimacy throughout this song.

My favorite definition of grace says that grace is God’s empowering presence that enables me to be who God created me to be and do what He has planned for me to do. When I choose to embrace God’s desires, He is able to embrace and support and empower me! I must have close contact with the Lord if I am to experience the infusing of His power into my life. There must be close contact, whether physical or spiritual, for a hug to be experienced. Psalm 37:4 ESV says, Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When I choose to find pleasure in being with the Lord, whether it be sitting at His feet or gazing into His eyes, His desires and my desires mesh together allowing us to embrace.

A shorter definition for grace is simply the word favor. Ephesians 2:8 states, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” When I think about grace as the goodness of God from a positive perspective as expressed in this scripture, it is very appealing to me. However, I am provoked by Ann Voskamp’s comments in her book One Thousand Gifts. She challenges me regarding my willingness to freely receive whatever God gives, whether it feels good or bad. While reading Ann’s words, I begin to realize that God’s grace often comes in the form of His being with me and helping me through difficult situations rather than His immediately resolving my trials in a positive way. I must not pull away from His presence simply because God’s grace is not manifested in the way I might want. I must let go and let God be in control. God is good so I want to yield to Him by relying upon His grace. In the first and second stanzas of this little song, I referred to receiving mercy and faith. Now I see how I need both of these gifts if I am to fully embrace grace in whatever form God chooses.

Looking at the last lines of the song, I proclaim that I want to dance in addition to laughing and singing. I do not merely want to dance, but I want to dance with the King. This is a dance I want to reserve for Jesus who is King of kings and Lord of lords according to Revelation 19:16. With Jesus as my dance partner, I want to follow His lead. I want to go where He goes. I want to move at the pace He moves. Preparing for our dance, Jesus puts His arm around me while I place my hand in His right hand. Psalm 98:1 says, “Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.” As His dance partner, I feel my hand being held by the hand of God described in Psalm 18:16, “The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” When I am this close to Jesus I can hear His heart beat!

The garden of my heart is now open to feel and hear the heartbeat of Jesus. This is my goal when asking Jesus to unlock the garden of my heart. Love is awakened in me. I John 4:16 assures me that “God is love.” His love allows me to sit at the feet of Jesus at the great mercy seat, and to gaze in His eyes so that faith may arise, and to feel His embrace and receive His grace in the garden of my heart! Now I laugh and sing and dance with the King of kings because of this understanding!

My Reader, I John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” Is your heart an unlocked garden of love?

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

 

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