An English Rose Garden
In the middle of the 1970s, my Welsh-born father brought our family from England to Texas. After purchasing a modest home in the Spring Branch area, he created an English Rose Garden. Popular gardening wisdom warned him that this might be impossible, but he took the challenge in stride. Clad in his favorite bicentennial shorts, he set out to create the perfect place for delicate roses to thrive in the harsh Texas climate.
He built a raised flower bed with railroad ties to provide proper drainage. He filled it with premium soil. Before planting those rose bushes, he added a drip irrigation system. This form of steady watering was indeed the best-kept rose-growing secret. Roses love moist soil. If you know Texas summers, you know the two kinds of weather: monsoon and drought. None of those gentle, soaking rains around here. It is all or nothing. My father’s drip irrigation helped keep those roses happy. My father’s efforts were rewarded with the most spectacular display of rose blooms that wrapped our entire front garden in a rainbow of colors.
Gardeners must provide all that is needed for plants to thrive. Because God is a faithful tender of my soul, he provides the Bible to give practical guidance on soul care and keep. The book of Psalms is one of my favorite places to find this wisdom.
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are valid, and righteous altogether. (Psalm 19:7-9 ESV)
We all need a drip irrigation system of daily exposure to God’s word. A once-weekly reading of the Bible at church might last for a day or two, but the daily infusion revives us and keeps us thriving.
Soul Care Essentials
Verses 7-9 of Psalm 19 identify three soul care essentials.
- law, commandments, precepts
- fear or proper reverence or respect
We have to know the law or the commandments to follow them. God is our designer, and he knows all about our design capacity. Can someone function well without sleep? No. Did you know that God directs us to rest in His word? Can someone lie or steal and suffer zero consequences? No. God’s guidance is always for our good, and we need daily reminders lest we wander off course.
God directs his people to share what He is doing in our lives. (1 Chronicles 16:8) He knows we need the reminder, and sharing testimonies is a powerful way to encourage others.
God wants us to remember to show respect for Him and for all He has created. When we lose touch with this principle, suffering follows quickly.
A Daily Dose of God’s Word
How can we make daily Bible reading a part of our daily lives? How do we make that drip irrigation of Bible verses an essential part of every day?
First, figure out your best learning style.
Are you a visual learner, an audio learner, or a tactile-kinesthetic learner (someone who learns best through movement or touch)?
Second, test-drive some different ways to take in scripture daily.
Since I am an audio learner, I listen to a podcast (“1 Year Daily Audio Bible”) that reads scripture daily, taking me through the Bible in one year. It’s a daily 15-20 minute investment that makes a difference for me.
What could a visual learner do? First, find a daily scripture reading program that would give you daily doses of scripture that could be read in less than 15-20 minutes.
What about tactile-kinesthetic learners? Try moving as you listen to scripture. I walk while listening, and this helps me to focus.
Thank you, Lord, that your law is perfect. Thank you that it has the power to revive my parched soul today and always. Thank you that testimonies about what you have done for me and others are specific and daily reminders of your kindness. Thank you that your guidance makes wise the simple. I could use an extra measure of your wisdom today. Thank you that your precepts are correct, and they bring joy to my battered heart. Your commandment is pure and enlightening to my eyes when I don’t know what to do or where to go. Please help me recognize and respect you and be cleansed by drawing near you. Thank you that in an ever-changing world, all of this is enduring forever; your rules are valid and righteous altogether. When I cry out to you, I am restored. AMEN
How about you? How will you take in your daily dose of scripture?