Happy New Year everyone, this year, I am making a commitment to write more frequent posts than I have ever done in previous years and I want to take my readers on a journey through some of the areas I have experienced in my relationship with God. I intend for this to be the first of many posts.
1. The Act which changed everything
They knew something was now very different. All of a sudden, they realised that they were naked and they felt shame, guilt and embarrassment for the first time. Oh no! things would never feel the same again! The sense of security, peace and the calm atmosphere were all gone and suddenly replaced with anxiety, frustration, tension and turbulence. What had they done? They had eaten the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and things in the world would no longer be the same ever again. What should we do? they asked themselves. We must cover ourselves up from this nakedness; they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves.
“Toward evening they heard the Lord God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. The Lord God called to Adam, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” – Gen 3:8-10
2. The Condition that affects everyone
Shame, nakedness, vulnerability and fear are feelings and conditions that affect every human being on the planet. If you are reading this you know deep down what I am talking about. We do things to impress others, we tell “white lies” out of fear of what other people might think, we compromise, we say yes when we mean no, we avoid people getting to know the real us and we struggle to be vulnerable. We avoid certain people because we feel so small around them, we are afraid of coming across as weak and therefore pretend we know what we are doing when we don’t have a clue, we have dark secrets that we are afraid to tell others, we have areas in our lives that we know are not going well but don’t want to confront, we are afraid of not having enough or being enough or fear of losing it all and many other traits too many to mention. Researchers such as Brene Brown are helping us to understand that we all suffer from this same condition no matter who we may be, from CEOs to Office Cleaners- but research can never answer the reason why we feel this way.
3. The Book that explains the reason for everyone
The Bible, this ancient book of manuscripts, has so much wisdom and does give us answers to the condition we all find ourselves in. Can you relate to what I wrote above about the feeling of fear, shame, vulnerability or nakedness? Then isn’t it amazing that a book written thousands of years ago(in the case of Genesis, written over 3000 years ago) can give us answers to our human condition? “Now, although Adam and his wife were both naked, neither of them felt any shame.” – Gen 2:25 NLT and then “The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. The he ate it, too. At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.” – Gen 3:6-7 NLT
4. The God that accepts everyone
Perhaps the most intriguing and the most misunderstood part of the Genesis story is the Father’s love for his creation. Although they felt ashamed, the Lord still wanted to engage with them, while they covered themselves with fig leaves, he covered them with animal skin (Gen 3:21). They had to receive the consequences of their disobedience but he promised a saviour: “…..God our Saviour, for he wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.” 1 Tim 2:3-6
Jesus himself said: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” Jn 6:37
I have come to learn that the love and acceptance that comes from God our creator is what we all need as the cure to our shame, fear, vulnerability and nakedness and he wants to cloth us in a way that we cannot comprehend.
I have found something very refreshing and reassuring in Jesus’ words and I simply want to share what I have found with anyone who is interested.
Do the conditions that affect everyone affect you too? I would be grateful to hear your views and comments below, also please feel free to share this with your friends as well.