A garden enclosed
The figure here is of a beautiful, fruitful enclosure, not a wilderness. Garden soil is cultivated soil, very different from the roadside or wilderness. The idea of a garden is culture. The ground has to be prepared, to be broken up by ploughing, to be mellowed by harrowing. All the stones have to be removed and the roots of all natural growth dug up.
The good things we are seeking are not natural growths and will not prosper in our natural soil. We all feel we should try to improve the old nature, but that is not God's way. His method is to get self out of the way entirely, and let Him create anew out of nothing, so that all shall be of Him; and Jesus will be the acknowledged Alpha and Omega.
The thing we want to learn here is to die. There can be no real life till self dies. And we dare not try to die ourselves, but ask God to slay us; He will make a thorough work of it. This the secret nature hide, Summer dies and lives again, Spring from winter's grave arise, Harvest grows from buried grain.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine
King Solomon left among his wise sayings a prescription for sick and sad hearts, and it is one that we can safely take. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Joy is the great restorer and healer. Gladness of spirit will bring health to the bones and vitality to the nerves when all other tonics fail and all other sedatives cease to quiet.
Are you ill? Begin to rejoice in the Lord, and your bones will flourish like an herb, and your cheeks will glow with the bloom of health and freshness. Worry, fear, distrust, care-all are poisonous! joy is balm and healing, and if you will but rejoice, God will give power. He has commanded you to be glad and rejoice, and He never fails to sustain His children in keeping His commandments.
Rejoice in the Lord always, He says. This means no matter how sad, how tempted, how sick, how suffering you are, rejoice in the Lord just where you are-and begin this moment. The joy of the Lord is the strength of our body, The gladness of Jesus, the balm for our pain, His life and His fullness, our fountain of healing, His joy, our elixir for body and brain.