Last week I shared my venture into the Elizabethan Gardens in North Carolina and asked you to join God in the garden. I hope you said “yes” because now that you have entered there is no turning back. Now it’s time to sit and stay awhile!

Who knew that one garden on one summer day in June would leave me with presents or actually the presence of God? He matched me step for step on each pathway and whispered an invitation to serenity and renewal. How can you say “no” to that?

bench in garden

Along the way I discovered benches beckoning from every nook and cranny. Whispered promises of tranquility filled my imagination as each bench became visible. There is something so inviting about an empty bench surrounded by natural beauty – God’s presence gifted to all.  Feelings of calm and renewal stirred my heart and reached deep, wrapping around and begging for a chance to stay. The invitation is open and freely given to each of us everyday. God doesn’t play favorites but instead craves time with us. The question arises -“will we make time for God?”

You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. Exodus 34:14 NLT

These words from Exodus are describing the Israelites, but they can just as easily refer to us and our lack of focus in this hustle-bustle world. The bottom line is that God loves us to the moon and back and in that love He desires our time – our attention – our focus – not on the things of this world, but with a direct gaze on Him. On the breath of the gentle breezes we hear the words “come sit”! Come rest and be still! Allow yourself the freedom to just be!

bench 2

God’s invitation doesn’t stop with “enter” but becomes a lifetime promise of serenity and renewal.The bench is waiting just for you. Will you join God on the bench today and everyday?

God's invitation to garden

I love that life lessons show up in the ordinary and end up becoming extraordinary. I leave you with the reminder from Ephesians below! You are loved and  chosen from the beginning of time. You have a purpose to live gloriously for God. Stop and take some time today to thank God and join Him on the bench for a renewal of your soul.

11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG

Blessings,

Mary

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