Friday, February 17, 2012

Eve Has Nothing On Me

I was reading the daily page from a devotional book given to me by a dear friend..."A Cup of Comfort: A Women of the Bible Devotional".  And it was about Eve.

Eve is such an interesting historical figure to consider.  I often waffle on my feelings about her.  I honor...or, maybe, the correct term is envy...her privilege of a close, intimate, personal relationship with the Creator in the setting of the Garden of Eden.  I respect her as the first wife, the first mom, and all the other experiences that I share in common with her that she had to weather first, without the benefit of her own mom, sister or a best girlfriend on whom to lean.   And when I consider all that happens in the world today as a result of the fall of man at the foot of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I get mad at her.  Because she succumbed to the temptation presented by Satan, in the form of a serpent, to know as much as God, the door was opened for sin, sadness, hunger, illness, death, poverty, greed and any other ugly thing you can imagine to enter the world (Genesis 1-3). And as a twenty-first century armchair quarterback, I may boldly claim at times that, if faced with the same opportunity, I wouldn't have made the same choice.

Give me a break...

Eve lived in the perfect place...had a perfect marriage...a perfect life.  And yet she still wanted what she didn't have.  Eve has nothing on me.

I can look at my perfectly comfy and warm home, furnished to the brim with many modern conveniences, and wish that I had a new living room set.  I can look at my closet filled with clothes...many I'm not even wearing at this very moment...and claim I have nothing to wear.  I can type away on my laptop right now...and wish that I had a newer computer with a faster processor or more memory.  I can take advantage of social media platforms...that are FREE to keep in touch with loved ones, and get mad when it doesn't work like I expect it too. I can snap pictures on my camera, forgetting how excited I was to have it at one time...only recognizing what it can not do.  I fall into the trap of looking at what I don't have, rather than focusing on what God has so mercifully provided for me.

There are a few lessons in the life of Eve for me.  The first is to be content with what God has provided for me.  The Bible instructs us to be content (Hebrews 13:5). It doesn't mean that we can't have nice things...but that can't be where our joyfulness rests.  The second is to obey God (Acts 5:29).  He instructed Eve, with her husband, to leave that tree alone.  When we disobey God, bad things happen.  The third is to not judge (Matthew 7:1-2).  If God had cast me in the role of Eve, my life and choices are evidence that I probably would not have made any different choices than she had.  And, even given the benefit of Eve's experience...that disobedience of God leads to bad happenings...I still manage to find many creative ways to disobey Him.  Just a few ways in which my waywardness is evident... it's on full display when I judge others...when I choose impatience and anger as a response...when I set my heart on worldly things rather than the heavenly...when I turn away from those in need....when I audit my actions/words/thoughts against man's measure instead of God's...and the list could go on and on.

So...when I am caring for a sick child...when I am mourning the death of a loved one...when I am angry at the injustice so prevalent in this modern world...when I mentally berate Eve for those troubles she brought onto women specifically...perhaps I need to focus a little less on Eve and her actions which made these troubles possible...and focus instead on how my own actions continue to give these troubles life.  

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