It all started when we gave in to the children’s pleas and bought a cute little rabbit. At first, the little fellow was too small to be left alone in the garden while the children were at school, but neither could he remain in his hutch all day without any exercise.
So the task fell on me to take the rabbit out in the garden daily. It soon got to be our little ritual. Whenever I’d unlock the screen door in the morning, there’d be a “Thump!” from his hutch, as if he was saying, “I’ve been waiting for you!”As soon as I set bunny on the ground, he would do a few little happy jumps, showing how glad he was just to be alive.
Seeing how easy it was for him to be happy helped me relax and enjoy my time outside as well. Pausing to take in the calm morning sky and breathe deeply of the fresh air, I could feel my tensions easing and my heart lifting.
I found I could leave all my work, worries, and stresses behind me in the house. In the garden, I was enjoying the timeless peace of God’s creation, and those mundane problems seemed small and petty. Every morning, the trees and bushes presented themselves anew, adorned with the sparkle of the morning dew. I felt drawn to partake of their freshness and be renewed as well.
I began bringing my Bible with me to read while bunny nibbled on grass and flowers. Reading a Psalm each day, I realized that King David was a lot like me. He too faced obstacles and difficulties, got depressed, and would worry. Each time, though, he overcame through praising God and meditating on His goodness.
Here I thought I was doing our little rabbit a favor by taking him out in the garden every morning. In reality, I too was being called out to green pastures and beside quiet waters, so that God could refresh my soul.1
Bunny has now grown enough to be let into the garden on his own. However, I’ve found that I can’t go without my time in the garden with God. I’ve learned how to do “happy jumps”—just like bunny—and be thankful, simply for being alive and part of God’s creation.
- See Psalm 23:2–3. ↩