We have all tried to create our own Eden; a place where we feel comforted, safe, and happy. We’d like to assume, and trust, that our intentions and efforts ward off all that threatens the perfect bubble we have striven to create. But like that which happened to what was once our home, that Garden of Eden, we find those same malevolent and nefarious forces slowly creep their way in and encroach at the door to our sacred domain.
When Adam and Eve inhabited the Garden, they were the first, and only, beings created by God with a mind to reason and a will to act upon. Theirs was not only the freedom to choose but also the freedom to act. Because if one cannot carry out the act of their choice, then it is not really freedom at all.
When the LORD told Adam that he could eat of any fruit in the Garden except the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil because he would die, we may be inclined to wonder – if this Garden was a perfect place, still yet untouched by death and decay, how would Adam even know what it meant to die? He had never seen death, never even touched it. How can someone understand a concept of which there is no concept of? Better yet, a concept where there is no relation to their own, or even universal, experience? This would take some level of trust on Adam’s part; to believe that to experience this death was not the vision that God had for his life.
This unknown, these unchartered waters was the only in the enemy needed to turn Adam’s perspective inward, elevate the self, and make him question his allegiance to his Creator. This ancient tactic is still in use today upon the modern man.
How often have we come across a scenario that perplexes the mind as it does not have any rhyme or reason as to why it has happened: the premature death of a loved one who was a good person? The loss of the child? The sudden collapse of a career? The betrayal of a spouse or someone close to us? Like Adam, these are our unchartered waters; the places we had no concept of or ever experienced but now find ourselves in. In these dark waters, the age-old siren song of the adversary still calls to us, “Does God really care about you?” “Why would someone who loves you let this happen to you?” “God has forgotten you” “God doesn’t really have a plan” “God likes to see you suffer” “God is not powerful enough”.
But these are the very moments where we must live by faith and declare our trust and allegiance in God. To believe that He does love you, cares about you, and has always had a plan for you life. Trust Him. Believe His promises. Live by Faith.
Today, as in the Garden of Eden, we have the freedom to act upon what we believe. If you say you trust in God, do not say that with your mouth, but then practice a life full of anxiety, worry, bitterness, and regret. By the same token, if you choose to live a life in rejection of God and His commands, then do not expect to receive the things that only He can offer: peace, joy, contentment, and freedom.
Choose. Act. Live.
God, sometimes I feel like I'd rather choose my own way of life than follow You. But each time I do, I find that everything I build leaves me left with only burned up wreckage and ash. Build upon these ruins and create something new in me.
“…but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:17