One of my favorite hymns since I was little is In the Garden. My grandmother would sing it or sometimes play her marimba to it. My family would sing it often. I just love the message that we are never alone, the Lord is always with us.
When I was about 10 years old, I heard a missionary talk about this song and it changed the way I view and sing this hymn.
Pastor Chan and was a native missionary in China. He was arrested for being a preacher of the Gospel and founded many churches in China. He served in a labor camp for nearly 18 years but the guards and officials did not like him there because he would preach to those around him and they would turn their hearts to the Lord. The officials thought that putting him in a cesspool, where he worked for 6 years would be punishment. No one got near him because they did not want to get any of the diseases from the cesspool. Pastor Chen considered working in the cesspool a blessing because he was able to lift his voice, proclaiming all the scriptures he memorized and sing as loud as he wanted, he sang this particular hymn often:
“I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses …
And He walks with me and he talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.”
Song written by C. Austin Miles, 1912
Pastor Chen’s story still speaks to me today as it did when I was 10 years old. I didn’t know then that life, can throw you for a loop and get hard at times. I am by no means comparing my current stresses or story to Pastor Chen’s cesspool experience but I have learned that even if we are in our own “cesspool of life,” there is JOY in His presence.
My soul will continue to find rest in Him alone!
As I have shared in my last post of what God has been doing in my heart,
I am still so thankful that He continues to draw me closer each day with everything that is going on.
I rest in His Presence because it is there, I find my Peace.