Genesis 2 & 3
This morning I took time to just sit with Adam & Eve in the garden. The best part was that my sitting with them happened to be at the beach where are couple close friends and I went on a quick weekend trip. Somehow my mind is just a little more clear at the beach. Sweet refreshment for my soul. As I sat there and read their story I tried to picture myself in their position. Having just disobeyed their God in the one way He had asked them to obey, there they were filled with shame and guilt for the first time… ever! I wonder what they must have felt like in that moment, where the loneliness that comes from shame and guilt poured in. I wonder what it would have been like to know they had done wrong and to experience their God, who could have in one fell swoop destroyed them, instead cover them. Yet, we can know their God. Because in our shame He covers us. In the utter loneliness and shame brought on by our own sin. He steps into the garden, the garden where we used to walk so closely, so intimately with our God… Fully known, fully love and fully aware of His love for us. Total security. There in that very place where we’ve found we’ve made the gravest of mistakes and opened the door to sin. There, He steps in. He reveals Himself as the God who is still near, still present, still providing for our every need. And it is there that He provides a covering. A covering for our shame, and a promise that we will not be doomed to live in sin forever. It was His mercy that kept them from returning to the garden, so that they wouldn’t eat of the tree of life and now forever be stuck in their sin and us stuck in ours. In the midst of the consequences He gives as a just God, He also extends grace and the promise that He will redeem us from the mistakes that we made. He will enter into our brokenness and never stop until He restores it all. Our loneliness in this life is often caused by many many factors. Our sin, the sin of others and the effects of the brokenness of this world. We were not created to be lonely individuals. We were created to experience perfect community with God and with each other. And even when we cower in fear and shame for the ways we try to fill the lonely void, when we long for friends to enter in and they don’t, when we have no clue how to invite others into our grief and loneliness and brokenness, He is not limited by the shame, guilt or lack of invitation. He is ever present, walking with us in the garden of our fears and meeting us where we are at, while calling us out to know Him in new ways. From the beginning of creation, the beginning of the fall of mankind God has been revealing Himself as the God who never stops pursuing our hearts and calling us to Himself.
Today, I pray that I would welcome His pursuit and allow Him to call me out into greater intimacy with Him that I pray will simply overflow into a greater intimacy with others. I pray that I would let Him be the one to meet me in my loneliness and be more aware when I run to things that ultimately do not satisfy. To know that even when I hide from Him, He comes for me. What love!
Questions for reflection:
- What are the differences in Adam & Eves’ life before and after they eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
- Where does God meet them? What is His response to their choice?
- Why did God not allow them to stay in the garden?
- What does God’s response to Adam and Eve show you of how He responds to our own brokenness?
- Are there unhealthy ways that you try to fill the loneliness in your heart instead of allowing God to meet you in that place?
Abram in Genesis 12: 1-9 (but I may read Genesis 12-15 if I’m feeling ambitious!)