This last year has been quite the journey as I learned that my heart is capable of opening up again. While I have been saved for over 10 years, it wasn't until this last year that I dove deeper into the Word and truly began to comprehend the love our Lord has for us.
The Lord spent six days making a world that was "Good" in every way.
Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
However, in his never-ending love, he recognized the one thing that "was not good" was that man, although having the closest possible relationship with Him and having dominion over the created world, was "alone."
Genesis2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Just working through the book of Genesis, I felt the pain, frustration and disappointment that our Heavenly Father must have felt when Adam and Eve fell. Not only did I feel His pain, but I began to comprehend the depth of what we lost in the Garden. Adam and Eve existed in a state of complete and total vulnerability to each other without any sense of that vulnerability. They were able to completely "know" one another without any barriers.
Genesis2:25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
With the Fall, we lost more than just a Garden and an easy life.
Genesis3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
We have heard and read this story since early childhood and it is easy to miss the depth of the loss. The biggest loss was the barrier free relationship between man and God. It is easy to overlook the magnitude of the consequences of "the eyes of both of them were opened" were.
To personalize this, I think about times in my life when "my eyes were opened."
- There was the first time I scraped a knee and came to the bitter realization that my parents couldn't protect me from all pain.
- There was the first time I felt embarrassed or inadequate.
- There was the anger and pain from the first time I was punished for something that I had not done.
- There was the guilt and shame associated with the first time someone else was punished for something I had done.
- There was the frustration of failure.
- There was the shame and guilt the first time that I could hurt the feelings of others.
- There was the pain of the first love lost, when I felt the betrayal of my heart and the loneliness of having lost a part of it.
- There was the time I stole something that I wanted from one of my classmates in second grade and the terrible feelings of guilt and remorse that came with it.
- There was the realization that no matter how much effort we put into life here on Earth, there will always be struggles.
- There was the first time my father had a heart attack and I realized that he would not be here with me on Earth forever.
- Then flash forward to the agony of saying goodbye to my husband as he went home to our Lord and realizing that my Earthly father couldn't do anything to appease that pain.
- Then, there was this last year when my heart opened back up to love another man after my husband's passing and I realized that he was not going to be sharing the rest of my journey on Earth with me. There was the pain of realizing that no matter how "close" I wanted to be to him, we would never experience the completely vulnerable, open love of the Garden.
Yes, we lost a lot with the Fall. However, we are not without Hope! Through Jesus, his love, sacrifice and strength, we are able to overcome the Fall. It is only through him that we find the strength to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open! This brings me to the blessings in my life.
- I am blessed to have amazing parents who have always been there for me.
- I am blessed to have three beautiful sons who keep my heart warm.
- I am blessed with true friends and family who stick with me through the roller coaster of life.
- I am blessed by the enthusiastic kisses of my puppy.
- I am blessed to have a wonderful career.
- I am blessed to have experienced the love of an incredible husband who truly would have died to protect me.
- I am blessed that, while I have not found the man that I will spend the rest of my life with, I have hope in my heart that I will.
- Finally and most important, I am blessed by the love, comfort, strength and promise of our Lord and Savior. We are blessed with God's love letter, the Bible, to draw us closer to him and comprehend his love for us.
So, on this Christmas morning, I pray that we comprehend the Love, Strength, Courage and Hope that we have in Christ.
God Bless and Merry Christmas!