Friday, July 4, 2014

Eden and America…Any Similarities?

I walked into my garden one Sunday morning recently. I'd had a restless night of sleep and needed to calm my heart and soul. As I listened to the birds sing, the quiet of the moment caused my thoughts to wander…

Looking around my garden and the beauty of my flowers and plants, the different shades of green, the starkness of white in the irises, the hope of flowers yet to bloom, I was reminded of a garden of long ago…Eden.

The lushness of Eden must have been incomparable to anything we can imagine. The best thing about Eden though was the Presence of God. The Bible says in Genesis 3:8 "And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…"

I can't imagine, in my 21st century mind, what that must have been like.

I can imagine, however, the horror Eve must have felt when she was thrown out of paradise. One decision cost her everything. She listened to someone who deceived her and now she was branded and thrown out of the presence of the Almighty. Angels with flaming swords were assigned to guard the entrance to her former home. She could never return.

No longer could she walk in the cool of the day with the One who loved her most.

Isn't that what all of us are searching for, our Garden of Eden, and someone to love us?

Since the beginning of time and the original garden, God put inside each one of us a hunger for Himself and His Presence.

One of my gardens
I believe that's why so many people are drawn to gardening and gardens. They are alive with beauty and hope. When we are in the quiet of His creation, He speaks with a still, small voice, words of love and truth.

When I sit in my garden, for any length of time and meditate, chat with family or a friend, I'm rejuvenated.

Most of us, and I'm including myself, search for meaning in worldly things. We look for love in people and possessions, in social standing and power, or through politics and education. We allow the serpent to slither up to us and whisper lies, asking the same question he asked Eve, "Did God really say…?"

If we are not anchored in the truth of His Word we believe the latest trends and beliefs fed to us by Hollywood and Washington. It's time we educated ourselves instead of believing everything fed to us by the political and social thinkers of our society. Our very lives depend on it.
We are celebrating a day of freedom in our country…the greatest country ever established because of her constitution of freedom for all people of color, creed or religion. However, we have turned our backs on the God who gives us ultimate freedom to worship Him in truth and spirit.

He will not allow us to continue in this spirit of freedom.  Just as He had to throw Eve out of the garden for her disobedience, He will also judge our country in the same manner.

He walked with Eve in the cool of the day, enjoying her presence, just as she enjoyed His. His heart was broken because of her sin, but He provided for her and for Adam. A tremendous price was paid for their disobedience.

God has blessed our country for over two hundred years but He will not continue to tolerate our habitual and in-your-face sin against Him. I don't want to wake up one day and find my freedoms stripped away because of ignorance, laziness, or disobedience.

Our Pledge of Allegiance still says, "One nation under God…" I would beg to differ that point right now. We have turned to many other gods.

It's not too late if we'll join together and pray as a nation of people who still believe in the one true God, ask His forgiveness, and turn our hearts back to Him.

Otherwise, our Eden as we know it will be stripped away from us.

And worse than that, the protection and relationship we have known from Almighty God in years past…g o n e.

Join me this Independence Day in praying for our country. Let's not find ourselves looking back at Eden one day thinking if only...