Posted by: howvoicebegan | 08/10/2010

The Garden of Eden

We all get to points in our lives where me must seek spiritual and emotional rest and quietness; where we have only ourselves and our God. Every few months I get to a place where I need silence for a few days to just be still before God (Psalm 46:10) and rest in his presence.

I went to Kenya to attend the wedding of one our pastors. It was exciting to see the joy in his and his bride’s lives and to serve as support of his “family” since it was not in his home land. But after the excitement of the wedding, I was ready to rest. In September I had been non-stop busy and filled with stressors of projects in Mamelodi. Coming to Nairobi only somewhat relieved this, as my mind continued to be placed in a hectic environment.  Nairobi is crowded, polluted, noisy, and chaotic. While my mind finally had rest, it still wasn’t right for a peaceful setting.

Seeking rest in the garden

So, I relocated myself to a new part of quietness and serenity, based on the suggestion of someone I had met through the wedding. Away from city noise and demands of my life in South Africa, I could finally breathe.
In the arboretum I found a much deeper connection to God than I was anticipating. I was not the only one who had come here for rest and His presence. There were few enough people to have my own place and privacy, but enough for me to observe something unique. This place has become a spiritual haven for Christians.
In the midst of my prayers and Bible study I heard others fervently praying, groups singing, people reading their Bibles; all just basking in his glory. At one point I was approached by someone who was wandering through and had a few of their own questions: “What is the Bible about? What is sin? How do you gain faith? How do I please God?” It seemed all who came to the garden came to seek God.

It is peaceful, serene, lush, green, fresh, natural, and glorifying to God.  And it gave me a glimpse of what God had intended all along for us. This was like the Garden of Eden, in its breathless beauty where the solemn trees pay homage to their Creator, where insects labor away, where monkeys play, and people praise God. It was nothing but his presence and his design surrounding me. This is the life he intended starting with the very first man and woman. Surrounded in his design and by people whose purpose in the garden was to worship and grow in relationship with him, I finally “got it.” This is what we were designed for. All that he made is good (Genesis 1).

It is no wonder that we find a deep connection in nature, or why I seek natural havens to draw nearer to him, for this is how I was created to be, before the fall of man. This is still something inside that clings to the life found in the Garden of Eden, in the work of his hands, and our deep desire and longing to still be connected to him as we once were.
I have a desire to be in relationship with God like humanity once had and like I can now have only through Jesus Christ. While the reality of life now is that I must face its hardships, I still must make the time to get back to my roots of relationship with God, so to speak. In him and in his creation designed for his glory, I find rejuvenation, peace, clarity, and growth needed to re-enter the fallen world.



  1. Leslie,
    I am in ahhh of all Heis doingin your life andit gives me great joy to read your blog each time it arrives. I continue to lift you and the ministry He has given you in prayer as well as Pastor Titus. I turst you are well and that you are seeing His Hand move daily . I see your folks at church each weekend and try to be encouraging each time I spreak with them in how I see God working in yoru life and service. Blessing to you my dear sister!

    In Him,


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