In The Beginning
“And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God commanded the man saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Genesis 2:15 – 17
I lay there that winter afternoon in 1987, without strength. Leaving the house for church that morning had taken great courage and I now felt drained and depressed. Getting through an average Sunday had become too much for me. Anxiety complicated my every thought.
The strong, capable woman I knew myself to be had vanished in a matter of weeks. I had been busy, confident and brave. Four years earlier I had started a ministry for women and teens with unwanted pregnancies that had grown into a community recognized service. My thirty volunteers staffed both a 24-hour hotline and office space downtown.
I fielded phone calls from those volunteers day and night and frequently spoke at churches throughout town to raise awareness and financial support. I was proud of my ability to communicate and get things accomplished and often judged other Christians who appeared inactive. Now, this super Christian had vanished and in her place was a weak, scared and pouty one. I didn’t know then but I was in the midst of something called, “burnout.”
“It’s not fair,” I told God. “After all I’ve done for You, I shouldn’t be suffering this way. You’re not supposed to treat your saints this way. I’ve given you my all – my every minute – and this is the way you’re repaying me? I thought you would protect me!”
I didn’t expect an answer. An answer came, however, and quickly – like a punch to my spirit.
“Both the knowledge of good and evil lead to death.”
Over the next twenty years the mystery of that word from the Lord was unveiled before my spiritual eyes. It’s simple and yet, not easy. The knowledge of good and evil is so woven into our Christian culture and experience that the fabric will take some painful unraveling but in its unraveling lies something much preferred: The Tree of Life Who is Christ.
I must admit, before this experience I didn’t think much about the two trees in the Garden of Eden. If you are anything like me, you don’t like to look back to where our problems began. But, again, if you are anything like me, the Lord takes you back to the dust of your beginnings so that going forward is re-founded safely and securely on Him alone.
As those twenty years went by, I began to see how the knowledge of good and evil affected my choices and worse, my great attraction to it. I would often mix my affection for it with my affection for the Tree of Life without realizing my great error.
In this site’s BLOG, please join the conversation! Spend time with your Tree of Life and unlearn your affection for that other tree.
The BLOG is divided into three gardens:
GARDEN ONE (the problem with our knowledge of good and evil)
GARDEN TWO (Biblical examples of the problem)
GARDEN THREE (Biblical examples of those who chose the Tree of Life)
We welcome guest bloggers to the three gardens. Please submit your life-giving proposal through our Contact form and we will be happy to host your “Tree Thoughts” if possible.
By His Mercy,