Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)
TITLE: A Creation of God
By Rachel Burkum
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Starting out as clay in His hands, the world took shape. The mountains sprang up, the seas roared with new life, and the air sang with birds, stretching their wings in flight. The rolling hills were filled with lush green grass, and the valleys strewn with flowers scented to calm the weariest of souls. The beasts grew in numbers filling the land, while the rivers and lakes writhed with uncountable species.
And then…God’s ultimate creation came to be- the creation that would be able to commune with Him, love Him, and honor Him. The human race, destined to disappoint their King, was given a chance despite all odds - despite the sin that crept into their weak hearts. God knew when He suspended Earth in space, that it would be filled with the fire of hate, and yet burn with love when a soul would finally see Him. God created our world despite our inadequacy, so that we might have a chance to know Him.
With each new arrival of new life, God foresaw their future. He knew each step they would take, each tumble they would endure. And in this world He continued to plant hearts and minds that would carry out His ultimate purpose.
Some men were created like the sunflower, standing firm and fixed only on the sun, examples of stamina and courage. Some were made to stand out as roses, shedding beauty that reflects God’s goodness, yet protecting themselves, ready to battle the foe with thorns sharpened by His hand. There were those who would strive with fellowship, as larkspur gains strength and unity planted side by side. Equipped to stand alone, some men were formed like the cactus, with a rough exterior and unattractive spines, yet daring and powerful to withstand the dry sands and heat of life.
There were others, created as lilies, to bloom for a short while, giving peace, and nurturing souls with words of wisdom before leaving the world. Some were formed delicate and frail like the bleeding hearts, offering soft comfort to the weary. And still others God shaped to last, though not always in bloom, to provide hedges of protection, shade and shelter like the hastas that grow each year.
With each season coming and going, God tended His garden - His love. Weeds of doubt, anger and fear crept around the roots of His beloved. Some men held fast, resisting the choking vines and shadows that blocked the sun’s warmth. While others withered, unable or unwilling to face the hardships designed to strengthen.
The garden still stands today, though crowded with more weeds and flesh-eating insects than ever. Buildings tower high above our heads, and smog dirties the air. Billboards present images that leave nothing to the imagination, and filth plagues the television and magazines. Words designed to tear down and curse are hurled in every direction, reverberating even in the most resistant of ears. The flowers…God’s cherished creation…sits in a dark world, corrupt and bound for an eternity lost without Him.
But still, as only a speck in the vastness of God’s great universe, the warmth of His breath can still be felt. His life-giving water still nourishes the driest of hearts. His Word can still rid the most overgrown soul of all weeds. For He knows that one day, His garden will shine again. One day, His garden will live in an eternity of peace and joy, fully enveloped in His presence, and able to see the world through His eyes. To see the galaxies spread across the great expanse…to experience the view from Heaven itself…
As I bask in God’s sunlit garden, I await the day I will be chosen, taken up from this earth to rest at His feet.
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