My backyard garden is an exciting mystery. It’s my “God and me” project. I take my time observing the layout and each year I see where the Lord wants it to go. A few years ago I planted a flowering vine. It grew so tall, He showed me how to make it go up and over to make a small archway into our special garden (it needs a little trimming I can see!). This year when I got my tax return, instead of buying a car like a lot of people do, I went straight after work and bought a new wheelbarrow. I knew which plants to buy, but as I started to mix up my soil in the wheelbarrow, the Lord was showing me that this year I should put in a few plants to start the border for a special path He was making in the garden. Very exciting.
The path idea makes me think of the path of our lives. God is a garden expert. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Gen. 2:8).
Have you ever wondered about the meandering paths animals make in the woods, or when you go to a park and people just tend to make their own paths, instead of staying on the cement ones? I believe there are intended paths on the earth. Sometimes architects miss those paths. The Lord makes ways for the paths of animals and He makes ways for the paths of humans as well: good paths.
The Aborigines of Australia have “walkabouts” as a rite of passage for teenage boys. They believe it’s a time for the boys to reflect on life and get in touch with their history. The walkabouts are a challenge of survival for 6 months. The paths are not marked by anything but sky and an inner knowledge. When the boys come back from their walkabouts, they are considered men. Their personal paths are called “song lines.” I believe God has designed “song lines” for each of us if we are open to listen.
The psalmist says: “Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths” (Ps. 25:4). “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight” (Ps. 119:35).
Only the true God has our best path laid out. Our Lord Jesus Christ knows how to guide us along the path. It is a path of wisdom. Job puts it beautifully:
“No hawk knows that path; the falcon has not seen it. Proud animals have not walked there, and no lions cross over it. Miners hit the rocks of flint and dig away at the bottom of the mountains. They cut tunnels through the rock and see all the treasures there. They search for places where rivers begin and bring things hidden out into the light.
“But where can wisdom be found, and where does understanding live? People do not understand the value of wisdom; it cannot be found among those who are alive. The deep ocean says, ‘It’s not in me;’ the sea says, ‘It’s not in me.’
“Wisdom cannot be bought with gold, and its cost cannot be weighed in silver. Wisdom cannot be bought with fine gold or with valuable onyx or sapphire gems. Gold and crystal are not as valuable as wisdom, and you cannot buy it with jewels of gold. Coral and jasper are not worth talking about, and the price of wisdom is much greater than rubies. The topaz from Cush cannot compare to wisdom; it cannot be bought with the purest gold.
“So where does wisdom come from, and where does understanding live? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, even from the birds of the air. The places of destruction and death say, ‘We have heard reports about it.’
“Only God understands the way to wisdom, and he alone knows where it lives, because he looks to the farthest parts of the earth and sees everything under the sky: When God gave power to the wind and measured the water, when he made rules for the rain and set a path for a thunderstorm to follow.
“Then he looked at wisdom and decided its worth; he set wisdom up and tested it.
“Then he said to humans, ‘The fear of the Lord is wisdom’” (Job 28:7-28).
Only wisdom from the true God will keep us on our best paths, not only to survive like the Aboriginal boys, but to find and live in our “song lines” that lead to His glory and delight.
David declared: “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory [manifested power] is rejoicing: my flesh also shall rest confidently in hope. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:9 & 11).
We have choices in life as to which paths to take. Always try to choose the “song line” God has put before you, one step at a time. Remember, Abraham didn’t know where he was going when God called him. The Lord had to lead him and he had follow.
One day my backyard garden will be way more complete and really really unique and beautiful. So will our lives if we only let the wisdom of God lead us.
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