“Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” – Genesis 2:15
The Lord has placed us in the world. He created the parameter of time and the opportunity of community. He created the concept of relationship and the beauty of nature. The swirl of emotions, the depth of thought, and the imagination are intentional tools of his making. He made the process of choice and consequence as well as the capacity for belief.
This is the arena where he decided to place us. Even though mankind was cast out of Eden, we still live in a world of God’s creation. A shadow of the garden, but a manifestation of the Lord’s will nonetheless.
We live in exile, but we are still designed to cultivate. All of his creation is ripe for cultivation. We have opportunity to cultivate the garden within ourselves. We can cultivate relationships with other humans. And we can cultivate the earth as stewards of God’s creation.
The soil in which we have opportunity to cultivate is the circumstances we encounter each day. We can’t cultivate in soil we don’t have, only the soil we do have.
It is ours to sow, and God’s to grow. When we do the job of cultivating unto the Lord, we are doing what God made us to do. We are being his instrument.
The world is a beautiful garden. But gardening takes work and time. The calling to cultivate is a calling to utilize our circumstances as tools for the Kingdom. And trust God with the reaping.