Just like a garden, love is enjoyed when it is in full bloom. To keep it blooming, the love in our hearts grows when tended. If we do not feed it, it slowly dies. But just like humans, our love needs more than watering. It also needs faithful and patient tending.
Song of Solomon 6:2 describes how God loves to delight in the garden of our hearts; “My lover has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies.” Just like the bridegroom in this verse, not only do we delight in the love that He gives us, but He Himself also delight in our small yet sweet little hearts that beat only for Him. When our hearts are filled with so much love for Him, truly He enjoys it and wants to dwell in it as if our love is a strong, sweet fragrance from rare and lovely flowers.
For such a garden to grow, it just needs to be watered with such deep devotion and hunger for our Beloved God. Just like plants and flowers, we thirst for His love and presence. Such thirst can only be quenched with His Word and our heart-to-heart communication and communion with Him.
But once neglected, the garden of our hearts may not grow as beautiful as Solomon’s gardens. The weeds of the world and flesh can choke away the beauty of His love in us and make us forget how wonderful it is to dwell in Him. I myself experienced this a lot of times, especially during stressful moments. But always, the Lord brings me back to His arms.
Looking at our garden just beside our house one fine Saturday morning, I was distressed to see how it was neglected for years. Wild grasses were growing tall and proud around the trees, vines were hanging on these same trees, all my mother’s orchids have died, and the whole place looked like a jungle. Not one of us were able to look after it well. At that moment, the Lord whispered into my heart, “Your heart is like this garden, yet I want to restore it again. Come back into My embrace.”
I wonder how much distressed was the Lord when He walked around the garden of my heart. Although guilt pains me for the time lost from His presence, still, God is always willing to water and till that dry ground again. Truly, we are limited, frail little vessels. But God, in His fullness and mercy, wants us, not only to be filled, but overflow us with His unconditional and everlasting love.