Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Losing Paradise

So the LORD God banished…from the Garden of Eden.”  Genesis 3:23.

Banished from the Garden of Eden…no sadder words have ever been written.  Adam and Eve knew paradise from the time their eyes opened and their hearts began to beat.  They knew a world that none of us will experience until Christ returns.  They had it all and they allowed it to slip away at their own undoing.  With paradise at their backs, we live out our reality:  consequences of sin.  But God orchestrated a plan that His little boy was born with a purpose to die so that we might live.  Because of His sacrifice we are redeemed.

We have all tasted the Garden of Eden only to be banished from its perfection.  I lost paradise when my daughter began living out her pain, choosing the darkness of drugs.  I lost my safe garden the day my heart stopped as the doctor confirmed my dad’s terminal illness.  Paradise became in my rear-view mirror as I lied and deceived Bruce by secretly spending money, creating barriers in our marriage.  When my sister Beth was given 2-4 months to live at her diagnosis our little garden community of sisterhood banished us into a land of loss.  The beautiful thing about losing paradise is that in all of those situations everything was redeemed or will be redeemed at some point.  Kristen is fully redeemed, my dad and sister are living out their redemption in Heaven and God has brought freedom to me from my secret spending.  I am now living out a beautiful marriage full of love, restoration and redemption thanks to Bruce’s grace and love.

The Garden of Eden represents that perfect picture in our mind and hearts of how life should have been, could have been and hopefully will be.  It is that thing or person that was prominent in our hearts.  Eden is a life where we didn’t lose that person we loved.  Eden is the day we walk down that aisle finally finding love.  Eden is the land of financial freedom and finally discovering that job.  Eden is when your child comes back home who has been separated from God.  Eden was then and Eden is up ahead but we must understand that living in the tension of the two is how we grow in intimacy with the One who made Eden.  Our way back to Eden is revealed through His word and our fellowship with Him.  He lights the way of the path back to Eden and true life is at the end.

Behold, I am coming soon!  Blessed is he who keep the words of…this book.  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done…Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:7, 12, 14.

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