Gardening, God and You.

Here is a well-known quote from a poem, “God’s Garden” by Dorothy Francis Gurney: ‘One is nearer to God’s Heart than anywhere else on earth”. This poem was published in 1913 and taken from the Country Life magazine which is still being published today. I believe that when Ms. Gurney wrote those words, they were inspired by the Lord himself.

Gardening is something you either love or hate, and there seems little in between. Some people, despite having a garden, let it go to rack and ruin because they cannot be bothered. Others maintain their garden out of necessity to keep it tidy and not because they really enjoy it. While others take a pride in their garden and all that it contains.

Gardens come in all shapes and sizes, whether it be a large plot in a stately home or a simple window box. For some, their garden is a status symbol and something they like to show off, while others see their garden as a place of healing and peace, and they find true fulfillment in the labour of maintaining it.

In the fast-paced world of today, many have little time for gardening. This is a shame because science backs up the therapeutic act of being in a garden, whether you are sitting or working in it. Studies have shown that those with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, can benefit enormously from resting in a garden or even working in it.

Regular gardening helps mental health, reduces stress, and combats high blood pressure. Gardening is also a good way to keep fit because of the physical activities involved.

Community garden groups help local communities all over the UK. These groups exist to help their communities, helping those with mental illness, the lonely, those without work, etc. The charity Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) is a Christian group set up to help people who cannot for one reason or another maintain their gardens. It also helps people through volunteering to find employment and stay in employment. There is also a group called ‘Groundwork’ that encourages local people therapeutically to get involved in gardening. These two groups are based across the UK but have local offices in Blackpool.

Let us remember that mankind was originally created to live with one another and other species in the Garden of Eden. We were at one with our Creator also, but as soon as we ate from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, that’s when our problems began. God expelled us from this beautiful oasis, and with that came sin.

Sin is not only troublesome for humans, but it has broken our link with God and the natural world. This is why humanity has found itself at odds with God and the natural order of things on our planet. However, Jesus Christ came to reconcile us to God and the natural world by his teachings, redeeming death, and glorious resurrection.

So whether you are a Christian or not, I would invite you to sit in a garden or do something physically in it. You will certainly benefit spiritually, physically, and indeed mentally.

Finally, here are examples from scripture of the link between God, gardens, and people:

Luke 12:27 “Consider the lilies how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these”.

Song of Solomon 4:15 – 16: “A garden fountain, a well of living water and flowing streams from Lebanon”.

John 15:4: “Abide in me, and I will abide in you. As the branch cannot fruit by itself unless it stays in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me”.

God bless you,

Nick x.