From the opening pages of the bible, in the book of Genesis we read of Adam and Eve walking with God in the garden of Eden.

A beautiful, peaceful, tranquil garden tended by man working in the direct presence of God.

Can you picture a beautiful garden? One well tended, manicured, cleared of weeds and thorns?

Maybe you are a gardener and take great pride in creating an eye catching landscape.

Consider having worked so hard to create this space you had to leave for an extended period.

This beautiful, well tended garden was completely left alone.

What would it look like after a few seasons? A couple of years?

Surely it would be choked by weeds, vines, overgrown and unkempt.

If you picture this garden and compare it to the initial picture what would it take to restore it? To bring this untended, overgrown, neglected garden back to its earlier beauty?

This is a little like our relationship with God. If we leave it a while, neglect it, leave our relationship untended then it suffers a similar degradation.

What could be a beautiful and peaceful, wondrous relationship, becomes a battle, a chore, something seemingly unattainable.

But the relationship can be restored. Just as the garden, with some work, can be brought back to life, so too our relationship with God.

Just as there are various tools used to restore the garden, we too have tools to restore our relationship with God.

Reading the Word, prayer, quiet time just leaning in, worshiping, coming to church, fellowship with other Christians … all these can help restore the loving, intimate, joyful relationship our Father wishes to have with each of us.

Just as regular attention to a garden saves hard labour, so too does spending time with God daily.