When created, mankind was graciously placed by God in a lovely garden of rivers and trees (Gen. 2:8-17). And when redeemed, the faithful will spend eternity in the city of God, the new Jerusalem, the heavenly city. The great size and grandeur of which are described, but the only inside parts of the city that are described is the tree-lined street with a river in the middle of it (Rev. 22:1-4).
Even though Jesus told us that in the Father’s house there are “were many dwelling places” and He was going “prepare them” for His disciples (Jn. 14:2), there isn’t any description of our houses or apartments there. We are only told of the park and the presence of God in it.
So we were created in a garden and hope to be redeemed to a city featuring a great urban park with the tree of life featuring prominently in each—no wonder mankind has an innate desire for nature, even little cultivated areas of it surrounded by the big city.
Every time we go to some spot of natural beauty to walk, hike, camp, or just picnic, especially if we can find a shaded spot with a view of the water, it seems like we’ve found a little taste of home or a little taste of heaven. In nature we find some of God’s glory revealed (Rom. 1:20), but in His word we learn of the person, work and teachings of Christ to lead us back to the place our soul most needs—and longs—to be: in the Garden of God.