He Loves Me!
This devotional is a series of excerpts from Wayne Jacobsen's life changing book, He Loves Me! Download a PDF of this book by clicking the link below.
Day 28: The Final Word
I'm sure the father of the prodigal could sit on the porch after his boy had returned, thinking that the money squandered in sin was well spent if it brought his son to the end of himself and into the relationship the father had always wanted with him. As painful as it was to watch, it had been necessary for the son to know exactly what kind of Father he had.
God could have helped Adam and Eve to make the right decision, certainly. But he wanted something else far more-to awaken the trust that would allow them to participate in the divine community. What an incredible plan! God provided a choice for them that was so obviously in their self-interest, but framed it in a way that seeking their own desires would lead them to the wrong choice. Only by learning to trust him would they experience the deepest longing of their heart.
Eden was not the final test. In God's heart it was only the first of many lessons. The familiar proverb tells us that if you love something set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was. Only those who have loved something enough to let it go can even get a glimpse of what God accomplished in that Garden.
God loved us that much and though many in the course of history have not come back many others have. Somehow the pain of those who do not is swallowed up in the joy of those who do. Thus the tragedy in the Garden becomes a stepping stone to the greater good he desired. In the midst of sin and selfishness, he would use our own waywardness and its consequences as the incubator in which our trust in his love might yet emerge.
That day began a process that would culminate at another tree-this one a cross on the hill at Golgotha. Here mercy would triumph over sin; and the trust that had been so illusive in that Garden for Adam and Eve would become certain for those who belong to God.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. -Romans 5:17