You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride.” —Song of Solomon 4:12

King Solomon compared his beloved to a garden, just as the Lord looks at your soul as a garden, in need of tending and watering.

After the seed of the Gospel is planted, God nourishes you with His living water, the Holy Spirit. He feeds you with the food of His Word. He prunes you and one day will send His holy fire to burn away the weeds, leaving only the best fruit.

Remember how God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden? Close your eyes for a moment and picture your life as a fruit tree or vine. Meditate on Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man [or woman] who … shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water …”

How deep are your roots? Are they wide, but shallow? Will they stand through storms? Will they hold you when the ground is slipping away beneath you?

How are your branches? How far do they reach? Are the leaves supple and shining, full of the sap of life? Do they bear fruit? Good fruit like love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? Or are they dried up, easily broken and full of pests?

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful … I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:1,5, NIV).

Solomon described his love as a garden of rich delights, fruit-bearing, life-giving, a recipient of his sacrificial love.

So God looks upon us.

We are precious to Him. In a world where love has grown cold or is missing altogether, where ideals get trampled upon, where hearts are broken, God has reserved a place in His garden for each of us, if we will just accept it, where we can hear our name called “Beloved.”