1 Kings 19:11-12 (NIV)
11 The LORD said [to Elijah], “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
The mind must be calm, like an undisturbed body of water. Smooth water reflects accurately the image of objects within its range; if the mind is kept calm, the comprehension…will be both immediate and accurate. – Lumpkin and Covington, The Warrior’s Heart Revealed
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses
He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet that the birds hush their singing
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other, has ever known
“In the garden” is a song that was written and composed by C. Austin Miles
It has been said that C. Austin Miles wrote this song while he was inside the “darkroom” developing his photographs. Besides being a composer, he was a pharmacist and he has a keen interest in photography. While inside this darkroom and waiting for his films to develop [this was before smart phones, Instagram, and yes, even before polaroid!], he would be having the entire place for himself and time to read his Bible in total privacy.
At that time his readings took him to John 20:14. In the story he was reading, the day was a Sunday. But that Sunday was different from all the other Sundays. It was a Sunday when the Lord Jesus rose again from the dead. Mary was crying outside the tomb. She was looking for something. She was looking for the alleged stolen body of the Christ. As she looked inside the tomb, there were two angels. One was seated where the head of Jesus was and the other was seated where his feet was. But she was not able to recognize these two heavenly visitors and so she continued to weep.
But then, there was a third man who came and asked her as to why she was crying. Deep in her grief she could not recognize who was asking her. It was in that moment that the Lord called her by name. She realized that it was the Lord who was there all the time. She was filled with joy and she became the very first witness of the risen Christ.
Under the inspiration of what Austin Miles had read, he quickly wrote the words of the poem. And in that very same evening he was able to write the music as well.
Each of us has his “own place” where nobody else could enter. Only two persons are allowed to enter there. One is God and the other is you. It is the prayer closet. Different people have different prayer closets. A. W. Tozer’s prayer closet is found at the basement of their home, just behind the hearth. Susanna Wesley was her apron covering her face. Sundar Singh’s prayer closet was the forest. Wherever your prayer closet maybe it is a place away from the busyness of life and if we do not train ourselves to keep quiet, we will have a difficulty entering in.
God’s best thoughts are delivered through the quietness of our souls—through a gentle whisper. That Prayer Closet is our very own Garden. We need to cultivate it and see to it that it is properly maintained. If not, then it will be quickly overrun by intrusive undergrowth. God does not often walk in a garden not well-taken-cared of. That is why inner gardens that are ignored are said to be empty.