Right after World War II, a U.S. Army officer and his wife were stationed in Japan. That country had been devastated by the war. The post-war economy was in shambles. Unemployment approached 60%. People came to the Army wife’s door daily looking for work. One man said that he could do wonders for her garden if she would only give him a chance. So, for the first time in her life, this young Army wife hired a gardener. He spoke no English, but the wife, through sign language and pencil and paper gave him instructions about where to plant, prune, and pamper her garden. He listened politely and followed her instructions exactly. The garden emerged as the finest in the neighborhood.
When she finally realized that her new gardener knew far more about the matter than she, the wife stopped giving him directions and let him freely care for the garden. It was magnificent. Then one day the gardener came with an interpreter who expressed the appreciation but the regrets of the gardener. “He will no longer be able to care for your garden. He must leave.”
The wife expressed her regrets and thanked him through the interpreter for making hers such a fine garden. Out of politeness, she asked the interpreter, “Where is he going?”
The interpreter replied that the gardener was returning to his old job as the Professor of Horticulture at the University of Tokyo.
Can you imagine the look that must have been on that Army wife’s face when she discovered, that her gardener was the university professor of horticulture? No wonder he knew so much about gardening! Imagine having someone at your disposal with that amount of knowledge. What a beautiful lawn I could have!
And yet, we have something far greater that we often take for granted. We have someone who has that kind of intimate knowledge about everything in our lives — He knows our purpose, He knows what brings us joy, He knows what we need to do to be fulfilled in life. And He’s close enough to us that He’s willing to listen to us and communicate to us. Imagine taking advantage of having someone with that amount of knowledge. What a beautiful life I could have!
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways…Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” (Psalm 139:1-3,6)