It's a Tuesday afternoon. I find myself with a few spare minutes and unconsciously reach for my phone, open Instagram, and start scrolling. Within seconds I know that someone is in a foreign country again, while a fellow college alum has a new dream job, a stranger is exploring a cool coffee shop, and that Insta-mom received yet another box of perfectly curated mommy-and-me neutral toned outfits worth my monthly rent. I look up and squint around under the harsh fluorescent lighting and take a quick survey of my life: I'm in a Walmart, getting my oil changed. You have got to be kidding me, I think. God, why don't you give that to me?
We're not so unlike the people before us—even Adam and Eve. While it may be that the rhythms and demands of our present time are new, our hearts are the same. We chase things that cannot fulfill us, we trust in things untrue, and we seek to please our peers instead of God (Jer. 17:9; I John 2:15–17; Prov. 25:27; John 12:43). We are, simply put, human. And humans have always struggled to believe that God loves us.
The very first humans lived in the east of Eden, and sin had not yet entered the story. Adam and Eve knew no shame and lived in full, perfect vulnerability with God and one another (Gen. 2:25). Can you imagine the great beauty of their days? No struggling, no fear, no comparison, no want. They lived in the world exactly as God designed it. They never knew longing or ache or dissatisfaction. Adam and Eve walked among the creation called "good" (Gen. 1:25). And yet, the quiet whisper of a crafty serpent began to unravel quickly that which God had created. In a perfect world, the first seed of doubt was sown in the heart of Eve:
“’You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Gen. 3:4b–5)
We know what happens after this: Eve saw that the fruit was a delight to the eye and wanted to be wise. Uncertainty welled up inside of her as she considered that perhaps she would not die as God had previously told them. Instead of believing that God's warning came from his loving protection and sovereignty, she listened to the deceptive tongue of Satan. This moment altered reality. It was the greatest lie ever told, and it ruined life in Eden with just a few words: God is withholding from you.
This excerpt was originally written for Deeply Rooted Magazine. See the full post here.