Sometimes I sit and wonder:
If I were Eve, would I have taken the apple?
If I were told by my Creator and my husband that I am not to eat of that tree, I don’t think I would have a had hard time obeying. “Don’t eat? No problem. I’m not that hungry anyway, and there is so much more to eat. Out of respect and obedience to you Father and you, my Love, my husband, I will obey and stay away from this tree.” Not eating something I am told not to isn’t that hard for me. After all, there was so much more open. So much more given and entrusted. And I trust my husband, whom God himself gave me to. He is my leader, and over him, is my Maker, my King. Who is my Utmost Highest. So, I don’t think it would’ve been hard to say no to the serpent. “I will not eat of the tree.”
Then I remember, I eat of trees everyday. I may not have eaten the first apple. I will never know (But who am I kidding?) Most likely, the serpent would’ve appealed to what I would’ve been more tempted by. But it does not mean that everyday, I don’t find ways to defy my commands and the leadership in my life. I just have different trees.
I eat the fruit of the Tree of Comparison
I constantly place myself next to another and see where “I don’t measure up”. Could I be funnier, prettier, smarter, thinner, more athletic? Yes. I could. All the time. But I am not called to compare. As a matter of fact, I’m commanded against it. I am made specifically. Even if I may not see why, for what reason, I am built the way I am internally and outwardly, I DO know, I am told time and again by His loving Word that I fearfully and wonderfully made. I am told that I am His love. His child. He did not create a speck in me out of place. Again, I may not see myself fully through His eyes. I may not come to adorn myself with the worth, intention and beauty He sees shining in me each day. Continued from the day He died for me, to the day He created me, and all through eternity as I spend it by His side. But the fact remains….He Does. My doubting heart, my broken spirit, my thousands of questions will never change that. “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12b)
I eat the fruit of the Tree of Untrusting
Each day I forget that just because I am incapable of so many things, my Maker, my Host is capable of absolutely Everything. I forget that He is in all, through all and controls all. So I must TRUST Him. Trust Him to care for me. Trust Him to direct my steps. Trust Him to Love me, unconditionally and more fully than any created human ever could. Because He is my Father. He knows me. He encompasses me in His arms daily. He fights for me every second, against my battling will and flawed understanding. “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8)
I eat the fruit of the Tree of Disbelief
Countless are the ways in which I disbelieve. I limit His power, His prowess, His purpose, His perspective. I forget the very nature of His majesty. I ignore His promises out of fear. I occupy my thoughts with truthless worries that there is nothing to catch me. I will fall without grace. I will perish without a hand to pull me up. I fear until the lies are muddled with truth and I cannot tell them apart. “Who am I that he should care? What could He possibly love within me that I am worth saving?” To which He replies, each time my hearts violently shakes in terror: “Don’t be afraid. Just BELIEVE.” (Mark 5:36b)
I eat the fruit of the Tree of Self-Deprecation/Self-Loathing
Oh how I stumble and fall! How wretched I am! I am a sinner. Yes. My darkness is ugly and suffocating. Yes. BUT what I forget and allow to be clouded from my memory is that I am not the only one. When I fall, when I sin, when I am selfish, bitter, bothersome, broken…I am crippled by the thought that I am the only one who struggles like this. Everyone else is above my level of failure. They have it more together. God must love and use them more. I stay on the sidelines of instruments, not talented enough to play. This is a lie. I can speak those words now, and realize “yes, I know truth”, But merely a moment later, the truth is gone. My heart is void of knowledge. It only feels desperate, alone and unworthy. There is nothing extraordinary about me. I am a wretch. I am brutish. I am gigantically selfish. I seek praise, approval, attention from mortals instead of supplying my worth from my Maker’s rich abundance. His eyes are my only mirror. Yet I replace them for the falseness of mortared glass. One thought is all it takes, for a landslide of self-rejection. There is nothing within me worthy of love. Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Why is my essence pelted with amnesia, my salvation a lapse of belief? I am tricked to choke on fear of separation from Him. There must be sins too great that I bear, each day. Too great to be forgiven. For I am a melted mess. Waxen with worthlessness. I am a land-mine. Stand too near, and you will explode with me. Isn’t this right Lord? Can…please…may I be taken up inside your arms? May I crawl at your feet? Can even a debtor like me be a remolded daughter in your eyes? “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:7-12) To which my Pasture-Maker speaks: “‘Here I am,’ he replied.” (Genesis 22:1b)
I eat of many fruits. Not just apples. In countless moments, not just once or twice daily. Of greater abundance than even a novel can contain. I will forget this…all the truth of His Word and promises to me, His daughter. Tomorrow Satan will ravage me again, till his thirst for my fallen soul is quenched. However, that will not happen, for I am being battled over. And the war has already been won. I am never out of my King’s clutches. He stands, defending me. Yet allowing me to be broken, bruised and bended so that I may know I cannot fight this war alone. Without his body laid on a tree, I am not free. And each day, I will run faster to His feet, in remembrance and reverence. I need not fear. I am not forgotten. I am fought for. I am sought. I am blessed. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:5-6)
“And when I was weak, unable to speak, still I could call you by name. And I said: Oh Shepherd, Savior, Pasture Maker, hold onto my hand. You say ‘I AM’”. (Nicole Nordamen)