It’s a beautiful morning. The orange glow of the rising sun paints itself across the expanse of the sky as you awaken to the beautiful sight, laying on a bed of soft, lush grass.
In the background, you can hear the rushing water of a flowing river that is sweet and refreshing. You can feel the breeze sweeping across the garden, constant and comforting. You can see the flowers and trees dancing with the wind, surrounding you in beauty.
You can hear footsteps, familiar and sure. You can sense the warmth of His love as He opens His arms, welcoming you to a new day in the garden.
I love thinking about what it must have been like in the Garden of Eden.
That Adam and Eve would wake up every morning in such a place, walking and talking with the Creator of Heaven and Earth amazes me.
Yet what God intended to be an eternal experience became a painful memory after the fall.
Sin entered the world and the intimacy and depth of relationship once experienced in the garden with God . . . was no more.
It must’ve been heartbreaking, not only for Adam and Eve, but also for God. After all, that was His heart – to walk and talk with His creation, His children, His beloved.
But the good news is, the separation is gone. Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, our intimacy with God has been restored.
The garden no longer has to be a dream of what was. It can be a reality for your life today. Yet that can be a hard truth to remember and believe when we’re driven to grief by loss or brought to our knees by tragedy.
God’s goodness and love can seem difficult to trust in those moments.
As I started the process of writing for my newest album, The Garden, I went through such a season as my sister and her husband experienced the loss of their baby girl, James Ivy.
I still remember getting the call while on a business trip with my husband. At the time, I was pregnant with my son, Canyon, and it had been a dream come true to be pregnant at the same time with my sister.
But James had been born stillborn and in that moment, all I could think was God, I don’t understand.
Perhaps you know this feeling. Maybe today, you are seeking God for comfort because of the loss of a loved one, friend, or a bad health report.
If so, I want you to know it’s okay. God can handle your disappointment. He empathizes with your feelings and He doesn’t question your sorrow. He longs to be in that place with you and surround you with His love, joy, and peace.
Personally, the more days I experience as a mom, the more aware I become at just how much our Heavenly Father loves us.
I love Canyon so much; more than he will ever know.
And to think that God, so majestic and glorious in all His ways, would love us in ways so high, so deep, so long, and so wide that we can’t comprehend it . . . it refreshes and comforts my heart in the difficult seasons.
Realize, we may not understand everything that happens in life.
There may still be questions. But that doesn’t change who God is, how much He loves us, and the destiny He has for each of our lives.
You see, God is always tending to the details of our hearts and souls. Like a gardener, He knows what to prune and what seeds to sow. He’s not distant or disconnected from our pain. In fact, He’s right there the whole time, turning ashes into a heavenly picture of beauty.
It might not happen in a day, much like a flower doesn’t grow in a day. But just like a gardener is sure that what he plants will grow, you can be sure that what God touches, He will bless and bring forth life from.
It’s been a difficult journey healing from the loss of my niece. But if there’s one thing I believe, now more than ever, it’s that God is good and His love never fails and never forsakes in every season life brings.
Even in the loss, you can focus on your God who will carry you through it. In spite of the struggle, you can worship your Heavenly Father who is greater than any and every attack of the enemy.
What Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden you can experience today.
God is good, He sees you, He calls you His beloved child, and He is working all things together for your good. He desires to meet with you right where you are.
I pray that you would experience the intimacy, comfort, and beauty of the garden today.
Faith is rising up like ivy,
Reaching for the light
Hope is stirring deep inside me
Making all things right
Love is lifting me from sorrow
Catching every tear
Dispelling every lie and torment
Crushing all my fears
– From “The Garden”
Kari is a singer, songwriter, wife and mother. Since her first album in 2009, she has received one Grammy nomination and four Dove Award nominations, three of which she won. Kari is also a worship pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.