Ever dreamed of living near a mountainside in a log cabin, or a contemporary seven-bedroom house? A maid who greets your guests at the door? A ranch-hand who keeps your stables clean, your horses fed, your training tracks repaired? What would it be like to slide open a desk drawer and pull out your guest lists—one for formal gatherings; one for seasonal celebrations; informal crowds who eat hotdogs and hamburgers as they chomp down on the latest political woes of the year? On days when you prefer no company at all, wouldn’t it be lovely to sit on your back porch and recline in a rocking chair and stare at the beautiful mountainside spanning miles and miles in both directions, white caps daring you to ski the slopes? To cuddle in your husband’s arm near a fire and lavish peace graciously provided by God?
Like our imaginary house on the mountainside, Adam and Eve had a garden handmade by God. Inside was everything they needed, custom-made. They needn’t worry about eating too much, fad diets, exercising, or their salt intake. No need to concern themselves with tilling the ground, punching a clock, or feeling obligated in any way to anyone. They didn’t have to worry about encroaching on their neighbor’s easement, or the dogs barking too late at night. Free from the house-hunting fiasco, they didn’t have to fret over poor school systems versus rich ones, or worry about which neighborhood appeared rich in status. They had no idea what “the status quo” meant because they were the status quo. Matter of fact, all Adam and Eve had to do was stroll in the garden and converse with God, eat when they needed to, and relax. Work? It hadn’t entered their vocabulary yet.
Then God told man not to eat the fruit in the center of the garden. They’d die if they did. Well, we all know how that ended. Satan used God’s words against the married couple and the fall began. Now man has to till the ground in order to eat and be clothed. Woman has to endure great pain in childbearing and constantly quarrel with her husband in an effort to regain her equality—which, by the way, she had before she disobeyed God. Satan, however, is doomed forever.
Consequences for our sins can be a hard pill to swallow. No one gets a free pass. At some point in our life, we all pay-up. But there’s a deeper lesson in the fall that we tend to overlook. Though God cursed Satan, He merely punished man. God had options. He could have destroyed man and began again. He could have clamped Satan’s mouth shut and removed the tempter once and for all.
But then we wouldn’t be able to exercise our God-given ability to choose. And isn’t that’s what this journey of life is all about? Choosing to love God?
Every year you and I make resolutions we don’t keep. Most of us don’t have the strength to make it to day 15. I would like to remind you that we serve a God who spoke the earth into existence then said “. . . let there be light . . . .” We serve a God who created a man and a woman, and from them birthed nations. We serve a God who has expanded days into years and allowed men, mere men, to live until they were 900 years old. We serve a God who has patiently watched us make mistake after mistake and not once did He, would He, condemn us if there was the slightest hope that we would choose Him over our selfish agendas. We serve a God who in our darkest hour has sent strangers, even angels, to minister to us.
And we serve a God who has made a way out for us. Our redemption through Jesus Christ is the only reason we can get through tomorrow. Why would God do that for us?
He loves us above all things!
Reread the first three chapters of Genesis and refresh yourself with the power of God and see if you don’t come away with a new outlook for this New Year.
Though I can’t, GOD CAN!
by Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Poet, Author