Reach

When I saw the word ‘reach’ for this weeks 5-Minute Friday I immediately thought of Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, “God and Adam”.   Often, only the hands are shown but if one looks and gives some thought to what he was trying to say it’s not hard to understand that the artist is depicting the relationship of God and Man.

Hands_of_God_and_Adam

 

Notice that God is reaching down with His right hand while Adam is reaching up with his left.  The right hand is often a symbol of strength while the left is one of weakness.  That is exactly what is portrayed in this painting.  God’s hand (on the right) shows great strength as it strains to touch the weak left hand of Adam.  Paul speaks of this concept in 1 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you.  My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”  

Mighty God, let me know Your touch!  Let me reach out to You and know the grace that passes all understanding.  Give me the strength to reach out to those around me.  Make it so in the Precious and Holy name of Jesus!

 

In The Garden

How many times is a garden pictured in the Word?   Whether it is in the Garden of Eden or the Garden of Gethsemane it seems gardens are a popular place to meet our Lord.

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Meeting Him in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2:6-7   Before God even planted the garden He put man in it.  What might be the reason for this?  I think God wanted Adam from the very start of his life to know that God is THE CREATOR.  That everything needed for life is from Him.  Look at what God did on the sixth day of creation.  He created Adam and Eve, the flora and fauna, the animals of the land, sky and sea…everything that exists He created.  Later on in Genesis we are told it was common for God to walk in the garden and commune with Adam and Eve.  Every day they could meet Him in the Garden and create a relationship with Him.  Oh, my, what they gave up for an apple.

Andrea Mantegna's Agony in the Garden, circa 1...

Andrea Mantegna’s Agony in the Garden, circa 1460, depicts Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Travel with me through several centuries to another Garden.  This time at Gethsemane (on the Mount of Olives).  The story is in Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42 and Like 22:40-46.  Jesus had asked James, John and Peter to go with Him while He prayed.  What was His expectation?  I think He wanted them to support Him physically and spiritually.  Physically because He knew what was about to happen and He wanted those He loved around Him.  Spiritually because He was about to spend serious time in prayer and He wanted the support of their prayers also.  But, guess what?  Once again God (Jesus) is disappointed.  Each time He returned to them they were asleep.  He says pretty much what He said in the Garden of Eden…What are you doing/What have you done?  Oh, my, what they gave up for a nap?

hanginggardensofBabylon

These are the two most well-known gardens in the Word, but there are others.  One the Ancient Wonders of the World was the Hanging Garden of Babylon built by Nebuchadnezzar.  The entire book of the Song of Songs takes place in a garden.   I think I can safely say, God really likes gardens.

Worship Him with song:  In The Garden/There is None Like You

Abba, there is None Like You.  Let me join You in the beauty of my garden.  The day lilies, ferns, and hanging planters are just a bit of the beauty You created.  Praise You and thank You for the colors, the smells, the blooms…Grow me as You grow them, set apart, sanctified for Your purpose only.  Make it so!