I think of the garden scene a lot. Adam and Eve in paradise – or the closest thing to it on earth. Heaven on earth. Adam and Eve walked with God and talked with Him enjoying His presence constantly. Everything they needed was in the confines of that existence, which is exactly how God intended it to be, perhaps even for us!
In my mind, I see hundreds and hundreds of trees yielding every kind of fruit we can think of. I believe the garden was the place of perfection and what we all want life to be – no want of any kind and need. I think desire wasn’t even in their vocabulary yet until that one conversation changed everything (Genesis 3).
“Surely you will not die!” (Genesis 3:4). In other words, “He’s a liar. He just doesn’t want you be rival to Him. He wants to control you! He doesn’t want you to be truly happy! One piece won’t hurt! What difference will it really make? Die? Pff – you’re not gonna die. “ Sound familiar? With all we have, with everything God has blessed us with and everything He’s allowed us to live through and experience (both good and bad), we can’t seem to get to the place where we’re content with that. Some are in a state of constant want: “If I could just…if I had…I want…if only…”.
God didn’t tell them not to partake of the tree to be mean or controlling. He did that for their protection because He knew the harm that would come to them. He knew it would change them and their relationship with Him…and it did. The same principal is true for us. He knows what sin will do to us and our relationship with the Father. The things He warns against are all wrapped in “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1st John 2:16 NASB). The Bible is full of caution for our protection! It’s not that He wants you to be without what you think you want…He wants you to be without hurt, regret or shame.
Toying, flirting with, considering doing what we know we shouldn’t WILL kill us in more than one way. It causes something in us to die and could cause pain all around us. From some consequences we may never recover. Are you willing to risk it? Do you want to die?
When pretty much the whole world looked at me with disdain you showed me love, kindness and respect. You were more like a family to me than most of my family was and I was…and am, so grateful. I hope I told you that in person; I can’t remember. Forgive me if I didn’t.
You loved me like your own. You took me in and helped when you could. You encouraged me very often with a simple smile. You quietly supported me in the worst of times. You showed me Jesus and the real love of Father God way before I met Them myself.
Oh that more men were like you – exhibiting strength, acceptance and genuine love. Not many words were spoken, they weren’t needed. Your presence and gentleness spoke louder than words ever could.
I pray for your family during this time of your changing addresses. I know they know what a treasure they had in you. Many of us never had what your children have in you. I know you will live on and love on through them.
I will always be grateful for the chance to have known you. Rest in peace precious one.
I wish it were my original idea to call God “Papa”. The notion came from reading “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young. It’s a wonderful fiction story in which Mr. Young brings God to life in a very unique way. There’s a huge debate to this day about the book…which is sad to me for many reasons…all I know is at an extremely sad and painful time in my life, friends introduced me to this book and it ministered to me in ways I find hard to explain.
Anyway the main character in the book, “Mack”, was wounded by the murder of his child and God came to him (remember..FICTION…so don’t get too torn up ) 😉 as PAPA in a very personal way. Men, including his father, had failed Mack in significant ways and left him wounded to his soul. I identified with that (I’m sure you identify as well).
Until the latter years of his life, my biological father and I didn’t have much of a relationship. PAPA graciously gave me the opportunity the last five years he lived (at a tremendously high cost; the death of my sister) to make peace with him. I also made bad choices regarding men, had my heart stomped on many times. Then regarding God, I thought for years I was his grand mistake believing He really had no regard for me…until I came to Him and got to know Him for myself.
Suffice it to say, to me, PAPA is a term of endearment. It’s calling God a personal name with love…not because it’s expected or I have to. I call Him PAPA because I WANT to. I love Him and our relationship is very personal, unique, and individual. I TRUST Him to LET Him be personal to me and I want to share His special-ness (I know not a word) in a deep way; thus, PAPA.
I needed you to know the story behind the name hoping it’s not a distraction for you when you read my posts on Facebook, my blog, etc. He IS my PAPA. Jesus IS my Savior & Redeemer. I’m not ashamed to tell you how much I love Him (them) and how grateful I am for His (their) love toward me. Love you PAPA! 😉