Monday, October 20, 2014

NEW {day 20} :: hide and seek

The first recorded incident of 'new gone wrong' took place in a garden.
A man and a woman stood amidst beauty and splendor freshly created.  Every single thing surrounding them was new, never before seen by human eyes.

The world had been purposed, crafted, and offered just for them.  The sun stretched it's warm fingers of light towards them every morning and the dancing stars kept watch over them at night.  Animals, big and small, were under their authority, roaming wild and free alongside them.  Trees heavy with fruit provided flavor and nourishment.  Flowering technicolor shows bloomed for their pleasure.

Everywhere they turned there must have been something else new to discover and yet...
it wasn't enough.

God gave good things in abundance to Adam and Eve.
He gives good things in abundance to you and me.
It is more than enough, until we convince ourselves that it is not.

God warns us that the authority he has given us does not exceed the authority he himself must possess.  There is a chain of command and we are not at the top.  When God sets boundaries for those under his authority there is no room for questioning and certainly no room for disobedience.  The one who created us knows what we need - and what we don't need {no matter how attractive and new and 'necessary' it may appear}.

There in the garden, God set a boundary.  It was small and insignificant compared to the bounty and vast beauty at their fingertips.  One simple boundary.  One simple opportunity to trust and obey.

Rather than set their eyes on the world of 'new' that had been given to them, Adam and Eve had a laser focus on the one thing that was forbidden.  There was one thing they had not yet experienced, one thing they had not yet taken hold of, and their desire for that new thing grew stronger than their love and trust for the One who had given them everything else.

It was just the beginning of the misguided search for new that has been repeated time and again throughout history.  We continue the legacy today, turning our backs on all that we could be enjoying and instead reaching for the things that we were never intended to hold.
     The things that will end up having a hold on us.  

God sets boundaries for us, not because he is a controlling dictator but because he is a loving father.  He wants the best for his children and, as all good parents know, that is just as much about what they should stay away from as what they should be allowed.

The first time new was chosen apart from God the result was not fulfillment or satisfaction.  The result was nakedness, vulnerability, and a deep sense of regret that led Adam and Eve into hiding.

Because for generations it has remained true - every time we disobey God and choose new things in this world over Him we see ourselves less as belonging to God and more as belonging to this world and ultimately there is no security here.  As lovely as it may appear, there is no love relationship between us and the world.  That is always an illusion.

And yet somehow we keep giving ourselves over to the lies, the empty promises, of this world instead of the truth of God.

They hid.  We do too.
Behind new clothes
new jobs
new friends
new houses
new spouses
new habits...

And we could stay there cowering in the bushes disgusted with ourselves and confused about our futures...maybe even lying to ourselves that the next 'new' thing we acquire will be the thing that restores us.  But, God comes after us.  He doesn't offer the punishment we deserve for turning our back on our Creator.  Instead he turns us back towards him and offers us perfect redemptive love and grace.  He looks for us.  He pursues us.  If we allow him, he restores us, because only he holds the new that is powerful enough to really transform.

In Eden, a perfect world was shattered and it has never been reestablished.  That's the bad news.  This world is still broken and shattered with pain and heartache seeping in through the cracks.  We have been looking for new in the wrong place.

The good news is, although everything out there can not be restored, everything in us can.   Because when you love someone you make a rescue plan to bring them back to you.  To make them new.

God's rescue plan was Jesus.

for all the posts in this series click HERE