By Diane Machen

My Nana was a hummer. The funny thing is, she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but the joy within her had to come out somehow, and it did so in her humming.

She was also a gardener. She and my grandfather owned a wholesale florist company in the rolling hills of Parkerford, Pennsylvania. There, they grew and tended greenhouses full of the most beautiful and vivid mums, snapdragons and pansies that you ever saw. I can still picture Nana bending over a fledgling new blossom, gently pruning it and nurturing it, and all the while humming a song - to encourage it and show her delight in its beauty.

In Isaiah 5, we see a wonderful picture of another Gardener – God. Our Lord is revealed as a Vinedresser – One who planted a vineyard and carefully cultivated it. The vineyard represents people: the children of Israel. As His children today, we can certainly draw application from this Old Testament story. Our Gardener is attentive to our growth. He feeds us with His Word, and He prunes us to remove any ungodliness because He is looking for us to bear the fruit of His Spirit. Certainly God desires that we are to be growing and productive for Him, but He also simply delights in the beauty of His creation. Just like my Nana, humming her song of love as she cared for her flowers, our heavenly Gardener sings over us.

“The Lord God is in your midst... He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17)

“Believe it or not, that’s God’s plan for your life: to look at you with delight. You might have thought His plan was entirely about being a better, more productive disciple, but those are poor words in comparison to the picture of the vineyard. God’s ultimate intention in your life – today and forever – is to look at your Vine-fed heart with utter delight. That should remove your pressure to perform and free you to love and flourish. As the Vinedresser watches you today, let Him see your beauty.”
Chris Tiegreen, Worship the King.

Whether you are teaching the Bible, sharing Christ with a friend, cooking a meal for a sick neighbor, or leading believers in worship, it is a blessing to remember that God is delighting in you, not because of how much you are doing for Him, but just because He loves you. As you sing your songs of worship, listen for the heavenly harmony – God is singing too! He is singing His songs of love over you:

  • “I have called you by name, you are Mine” (Is. 43:1)
  • “I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands” (Is. 49:16)
  • “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10)
  • “I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Is. 43:3)
  • “I am the One who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” (Is. 43:25)

Listen carefully to the Gardener’s Song. Between each verse you will hear His repeated refrain: “I HAVE LOVED YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE!” (Jer. 31:3)