Pray | Lord, help me see the limits you have in place for my daily life.
“Should babies have maple syrup?” my daughter-in-law asked as I dipped a piece of pancake into syrup before plopping it in my granddaughter’s mouth as she murmured “Mmmmmm.” Turns out, they should not.
Just because the taste is sweet, or something looks appealing, doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Sometimes it’s as simple as syrup for a baby, but it can be as complicated as the fruit on a forbidden tree.
|Read | Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-5 |
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
Reflect | Spend some time reflecting on one or more of the following
In the Garden, God forbid Adam and Eve the fruit of one tree. Enter the serpent, who out points out to Eve the prohibition of one tree, neglecting God’s provision of the rest of the trees, implication — God is restrictive. While living within the limit God set for them, Adam and Eve lived harmoniously and uninhibited with God and one another. But once they broke that boundary, they suddenly felt naked, ashamed, covering themselves and even hiding from God. When asked what they had done Adam blamed Eve (and kind of blamed God, “The woman you put here with me . . . “) and Eve blamed the serpent and they became fragmented. That decision to take the forbidden fruit still affects work environments and relationships today; we can be difficult with each other, have a hard time taking ownership of our actions, we can be disagreeable and prideful . . . fragmented.
Interestingly while living within God’s limitations in the garden, work was fulfilling and good, yielding much. But with disregarded limitations, work became harder, there were thorns and thistles to contend with. Those thorns and thistles are still present in our work today, they can pop up as tedium, exhaustion, blaming, difficult deadlines, co-workers, clients, bosses and such. But we still have the option to embrace God’s limits today, and when we do, we live with each other much more harmoniously, and work is good and fulfilling.
How might the brokenness back in the Garden affect your relationships and work life? Do you have a sense of God’s limits for you? What are some limitations that have yielded fruit in your home and work life?
Written for Five Oaks Church Daily Life Devotional