We are all probably quite familiar with the story of Adam and Eve, maybe even too familiar. Is it right the Eve gets all the blame? Should Adam have thrown her under the bus for his own choices? Why even have a tree that is off limits? Doesn’t our humanity filled with curiosity, a trait we nurture in our children, mean we are destined to nibble where we are told not to? Yet today as I read the story anew, I wondered what tree I am eating from.
In the story, there are 2 trees, one that brings life and one that bears fruit not meant for me. It struck me that those same trees are present every day in my life. Do I reach out for the lush fruit that God has grown especially for me, fruits that come from following Him? Does the juice of His word run down my chin, spilling onto all that I touch? I am reminded of the fragrance of a sweet, sun-ripened peach in the summertime, a smell so alluring I can’t wait for that first bite. Inhaling a peach, eating it so quickly I am covered in juice and lick my fingers so as to not miss a drop, I wonder why I don’t realize the greater joy of breathing in God’s Word? Maybe I am eating from the wrong tree.
Eve had all she needed, she had it all and wasn’t satisfied. I think my name is Eve. I want what isn’t available to me right now, what has been called off limits in this moment. Yet to many in the world, I have it all. Certainly housing security, food in the pantry, more clothes than I can wear in a month, relationships I treasure, and opportunities to serve God. Why am I unsatisfied, looking over at the tree that bears wealth and status to others? I grab fruit from trees that bear fear and judgement, that encourage incite division and blind me to those in need. The juices from these fruits stain my hands, grow bitter on my tongue and multiply my resentment and pain.
My prayer today is that we all see the trees of hope and joy that God has offered to us, that we dine on His Word and offer these fruits to our loved ones and the stranger we meet. When you catch me heading to the wrong tree, friends, please remind me of my love of a good peach and steer me back to the right garden.