Growing is a process, and that process is often riddled with
difficulty, hardship, and frustration.
Yet the outcome of growth is good and full of hope. Growth is painful, always has been, but its
pain is endured for the prize that it brings.
Sin, however, has caused the natural process of growth to be more
difficult than God had intended. In
order to grow the way God desires we need to step back and take a look at God’s
perspective from the beginning.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”
(Genesis 1:1). God is the source
of creation. He is the source
of both the spiritual and material, and He is the source
of all life. “Then God said,” and out of what didn’t exist
came into being all of creation, and He declared it good. He gave life to the plants and breathed life
into the crown of His creation – man, “The Lord God formed man of dust from the
ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a
living being” (Genesis 2:7). Man
became, not of his own volition, but from the grace of a loving creator.
But not only is God the source, he created man for a
purpose, to have a relationship
God and with those like himself, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for
the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Genesis
2:18). He placed them in an environment
that encouraged intimate fellowship
communication, interdependence, and love.
He walked with them in the garden, talked with them, and helped them to
discover who they were in Him.
Yet, they weren’t the same; God, man, and woman. They were not only different physically they
had different roles
. God was the creator, source, and
sustainer. Man was the head, the leader,
and the provider for his new family. The
woman was his helper, supporter, encourager, and eventually the bearer and
caregiver of their children. Roles
were important for social order,
not to exert superiority but to efficiently divide responsibilities. God set these parameters and each found
fulfillment as they lived out their roles
the way God intended.
In the beginning there was no question as to who was in
charge; God was the boss
. As the creator He alone had the right to
decide what was good and what was evil, what were the man’s responsibilities
and what were the woman’s. “But from the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat” (Genesis 2:17). God in his goodness provided for all the
needs of his new creation, and only prohibited them in one area, “Don’t touch
that fruit, or you will die!” It was the
ultimate test of authority
establish a rule that had the potential to be broken. Who is the boss
, was the question. Live
within the bountiful garden that I have given, with all its beauty and
provision, or disobey and die. Who is
? Who had the right within Himself to declare
good and evil?
was nothing sinister in God’s placing a choice before them, if it hadn’t been
the fruit it would have been something else.
Adam and Eve had an opportunity to grow close to one another, find
satisfaction in their roles, enjoy their creator, and to live life in abundance. It was an environment that we all long to
return, because deep in our hearts we know it was good. Yet, paradise was lost, and the process of
growth interrupted, and the results were devastating. I’m just saying…