It's a simple truth: Obeying God's heart for us brings good things; disobeying brings tragedy and separation.
I remember those days with a relaxed mixture of joy and contentment, for the days spent in simple pleasure were heavenly. I remember the first time I felt sunshine on my face turned up to the sky so warm and welcoming. I remember feeling the dew beneath my feet in the amber-covered mornings. I can taste the sweetness of the fruit God provided us. I can smell Eve's hair in the embrace she gave, secure in the knowledge that we were literally made to be together.
Walking with the Ancient of Days in the evening are the memories I cherish most. Telling Him all about the things we did, the names we had created for the ones in our care. It was a wonderful sharing of the discovery of creation and the new experiences we had known. I could feel His pleasure in us.
A part of me is glad my children and children's children never saw the Garden. I think they would be less joyful if they really understood how far we have fallen. For me, it's a reality I can't escape and the passing years don't lessen the burden I bear. I love Eve. I love my family. In that sense, this life has been good, in spite of the curse and guilt I feel for separating future generations from the life we knew. We've eaten and the little ones want to hear about the Garden again.
Though it hurts in the telling, they will hear it again. Remembering that place still makes me pause and brings tears to my soul. Is there a heavier-borne remorse than a king without a kingdom? How can I convey the difference of life now compared to what we knew?
We lost our Home.
The accounts of our story to future generations will mention that Eve was deceived as she was tempted. But the story will not talk about my misunderstanding or the idea that I was deceived.
That's because I wasn't deceived.
I didn't try to stop her. I was tempted, too. I wanted to know the things I didn't know. I wanted to be more than I was. But when she bit into the forbidden, I was suddenly aware of where we were, and the weight of the moment hit me fully. It was a slice of time filled with possibility and the metallic taste of fear was in my mouth.
I had lost her. She looked at me with a new awareness and fear filled her eyes. The terror and shame and insight combined in a way she never expected or wanted, and the serpent was looking, not at her but at me. His hungry, expectant eyes knew he had me even before I took the fruit myself. Do I turn away from her? Or from God?
I knew the price I would pay when I tasted the fruit. I betrayed God and disobeyed Him willingly, with my eyes wide open. Both of us sinned striving for something good, but we disobeyed the One who gave us everything for our own selfish ends. Eve desired to be more like the Father we loved. For me, I did not want to lose her. I did not want her to face the horrible consequences alone. By lifting my desire and relationship for her above my relationship with God, I condemned us both.
Trying to accomplish something good through illegitimate means will never work in the end. Turning our backs on God always makes things worse and separates us from who we truly are.
I tell our story as an explanation, to help the coming generations understand why there is evil in the world. Why are we the way we are? Where did we come from? Why are there things in our lives that are so hard to bear and understand?
I tell our story as a warning, to help them learn from our mistakes. If we weep at the part we played in our separation from God, let that be a lesson to carry the weight of warning to them deeply and well.
I tell our story as a promise, to bring generations hope. God loves us and will make a way for us to recapture everything we've lost. Even in the story of our fall, there are seeds of hope and hints of the redemption to come.
The very deepest part of me, even my bones remember walking in the cool of the day with Him. Deep within you, somehow, you remember that day, too. It's why you long for a time when you will walk with Him again. The path to that day is not closed. It is a dream that will be fulfilled.
The rules He sets down for us, His children, are for our good and protection. Love writes those rules and following them brings a blessing that lasts forever. If you hear anything from me, hear this—a simple truth.
Obeying God's heart for you brings good things. Disobeying brings tragedy and brokenness. Take the better road.
You'll never regret it.
"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.
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. 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. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:6-8).