When I was a child, I enjoyed playing games with my brother in the front and back yards of our parents’ house. The back yard was perfect for a game of cricket on a summer afternoon. An upside down garbage bin served as the wicket and the back fence was the boundary line. Neither of us were very good, but we both had a lot of fun. Meanwhile, the front yard was a great spot for a game of lawn tennis. A piece of metal trim from Dad’s garage would serve as a net with the trusty garbage bin holding up on one side of the ‘net’ and a chair supporting it on the other side. Lots of fun and lots of good memories.
Back then, the garden beds that surrounded the front and back yards seemed to be a nuisance. The shrubs and plants appeared to serve no purpose at all; they were just a place where the tennis balls could get lost in amongst the leaves. If I had my way, I would have removed half of the garden and opened up the field a little. However, now that I have grown older, my opinion of the garden has changed. Now when I look around my parents’ house I see a variety of plants that God has made: each one is different; each one is beautiful in its own way; each one is part of God’s wonderful creation.
This term in church we are working our way through the book of Psalms. As I read through the Psalms, I am reminded of my parents garden. Each Psalm is different; each is beautiful; each is an outpouring of emotion to God, the God who hears both our praise and our lament. It is comfort to know that He knows that we experience both highs and lows in life. In all circumstances, the Psalms encourage us to pour out our hearts to God in the confidence that He is able to sustain us through our trials and hardships and that He will bring us safely through them. I am very thankful that my parents kept their garden, and I am especially thankful for the blessing that comes from reading and studying the book of Psalms.