My little garden is in the back end of our yard. It’s tiny but inviting. As I stroll towards it in the morning, I feel the release of the noise falling away and the draw of peace as I near it. The little bench remains on one end, inviting us both, Jesus and I.
I sense the same invitation as I open my small leather Bible in the morning with my hot coffee in hand. The chair next to me must be where He joins me. Does He prefer coffee black?
As I sit down to pour out and then be filled afresh, I continually return to the idea of tending my soul as I tend the garden. It is little by little. Different seasons require various actions but over all it continues consistently.
The acronym I use for how to unpack God’s Word had to be TEND. The image of a stooped gardener, plucking and caring and prodding in the dirt in order to encourage the most fruitful yield. I sense the Lord doing the same in the soil of my heart.
T stands for taking the time to pray.
I have to be intentional to seek His face before I dig into His Word. I spent many years plowing in and left feeling scattered rather than filled. I have come to realize the difference is not in the seed of the Word planted but in my recognizing His nearness.
These days I light a candle to remember He is here. Then I sit, pause, close my eyes and take deep breathes. It feels similar to my stroll to the back of the yard towards the garden. Noise falls away and His nearness begins to envelope me, reminding my soul of real perspective.
More than the popcorn prayer of, “here I am, God, speak.” I am still. I am quiet. I am noticing Him. In that, my heart is prepared, the soil is loosened and prepared to receive His Word.
How do you begin your time with the Lord?
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