As we seek to convert our unconverted places, and take hold of the strength that prevails, we need to bodyguard our faith and our Eden hearts back to Jesus. We turn from all other comforters—even benign things like remodeling projects and vacations—to give our heart fully to Christ.

Where are we chasing life? We must make sure that this tender part of our heart belongs to Jesus.

I love summer. It’s Stasi’s and my favorite time of year. But here in Colorado we’re now deep in the transition to fall, and all of our beautiful flower baskets are going to die. We made our front porch a little Eden refuge this year, a lush botanical garden, and I feel the clock ticking. Something in me rises up in a desperate, No! I’m out there everyday pruning, feeding, coaxing them along. (There was a freeze predicted last night, so all those flowers are currently in my living room.) I can feel the desperation in my body as I write this. Please, not yet. Not yet. Don’t die yet. I need you for as long as I can have flowers.

My longing for things to be good again is at an all-time high, so I’m bringing all our flowers into the house like beloved pets, desperate for them to stay lovely just a little longer. Jesus in all his kindness comes along with such loving reassurance and says, You don’t need to do that, John. Everything is coming back to you. There’s no need to grasp.

Yes, God our Father—our generous Father—will provide us with the “hors d’oeuvres of Eden” even in times of intense madness. “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5 NLT). If we can recognize these moments as gifts to sustain our hearts—if we can hold them with an open hand—they can support us, even bring healing.

The trick is to not make them the focus of our life.

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