awoke this morning. It is truly one of my favorites. Soft and personable, as well as a reminder that we are not alone; it is a reminder that we serve a God we can touch.
It was written in 1912 by C. Austin Miles (1868-1946). Though once a pharmacist, Miles also was an editor and manager of a publishing company. He once stated: "It is as a writer of gospel songs I am proud to be known, for in that way I may be of the most use to my Master, whom I serve willingly although not as efficiently
as is my desire."
Isn't that true for most Christians? We go about our necessary duties in life, but what we most desire is to be known for our service to the Lord - and hopefully in that desire we also serve with the right heart attitude. It should always be about Him and not about us.
This song is so beautiful in a simple sort of way. Can you imagine a voice so sweet that all the birds hear and stop singing? A voice that even the birds know they should stop to listen.
I suspect this hymn was written about Mary when she rose early to go to the garden explained in John 19: 41-42. It was the garden where the sepulcher was in which Jesus was buried. Mary’s story is told to us in John 20: 1-18 where she came to the garden alone, and upon finding the sepulcher empty ran to Peter and John to tell them Jesus was no longer there.
Upon seeing the tomb as Mary said, Peter and John returned home, leaving Mary alone crying in the garden. This is when she heard
the clear voice of Jesus asking her why she was crying and whom it was she was seeking. Thinking it to be the gardener, she answered not knowing she was speaking to Jesus. Can you imagine the sweet, soft way Jesus must have then said her name? In that Voice speaking her name, she recognized the One for whom she had been looking.
There He told her He must return to the Father – to His God and her God. We can be sure He then sent her on her way.
But also from this old hymn and in Scripture, we see and understand there is a time to get alone with our Lord. Jesus set that example for us as He entered Gethsemane in Mark 14: 32- 42 as well as many other places in Scripture: Luke 5:16;Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12. We learn He prayed before service.
We should all make time to be in “the garden” alone with our Master - a time to pray and a time to listen to His voice, knowing He desires that communion with us; understanding that it is a time that refreshes us. Most certainly, it is one of the sweetest times we encounter. But as "He bids [us] go", it is also a reminder to continue in His work until we see Him again. Hopefully we will be, like the author of this old hymn, and live with a desire to "be of the most use to my Master, whom I serve willingly although not as efficiently as is my desire."
With C. Austin Miles hymns being sung all these years and generations later, I’m sure he accomplished more for the Lord than he ever thought he would.
I Come To The Garden Alone
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.
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.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.