I ask you one more time to consider the timeless treasure of Genesis 18:1-14. As you read, consider your heart and the teaching that comes with the pondering. God has clearly given me an “ending” for our time together in his Word, but endings have always been difficult for me. So as I type, I am praying that, rather than simple punctuation, God would orchestrate an extraordinary exclamation. A loud shout out from the heavenlies that solidifies his Word with the sacred acclaim of his heart’s love for you. Eden has come to your house this day. Pause to receive your pleasure. (please read and return)
I have a friend. Her story finds its home within Sarah’s. Like Sarah, infertility has gripped her womb. She has struggled with her barrenness over the years…never knowing the fruition of a seeded hope within her flesh. Still and yet, she has come to some conclusions in the matter—some resolutions born out of a painful longing that is able to proclaim an Eden’s pleasure, even though her womb remains silent. Hear now a portion of her words…
“This particular part of scripture is very dear to me. I struggled with infertility for years. My journey has not resulted in a child, but my journey is all about trusting and knowing that nothing is impossible with God. Years ago while struggling with infertility I could have only cried while reading about Sarah and the gift of a child. My story might not have included the birth of a child, but it shouts out about God’s goodness! What God did for me? He healed a broken heart. He filled a place that I only thought a child would fill. He showed me how to listen and look for His answers to my prayers. He taught me to trust Him – and Believe Him!”
Did you catch it? Do you hear the rhythm of Eden’s pulse? It came to my friend, and it comes to each one of us, my friends, in exactly the same way it came to Sarah all those years ago.
Eden arrives with the gift of a Son!
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10-11).
Over two thousand years ago, God split the sky and pronounced Eden’s arrival with a night star that punctuated the dearest pleasure of our Father’s heart. Some were prepared for his arrival.
postured their hearts with expectation for the gift. (part one)
remembered the language of covenant spoken by their God through the prophets about a Son’s arrival. (part two)
laughed at the thought of bearing a new Way in an old season. (part three)
faith enough to believe that nothing was too hard…too extraordinary for Yahweh. (part four)
But in that moment—in that one single act of grace delivered upon Bethlehem’s soil—everyone had…
the Gift of God’s Son, laid at their feet to cradle within their arms and to claim him as their own.
Jesus Christ was, and still is humanity’s ticket home to Eden. He bridged the chasm…
~Between sin’s expulsion and grace’s reception.
~Between a desert dwelling and a garden’s embrace.
~Between “as good as it gets” and “the best is yet to be.”
~Between death and life.
~Between hell and heaven.
~Between earth’s Eden and God’s eternal Eden.
It is an Eden not meant for tomorrow, but a pleasure meant for right now.
My friend understands the pleasure of Eden. Indeed, her story finds its place alongside Sarah’s, for she carries within her fragile frame the promise of God…the gift of a Son. She has found her way back to the garden. To the intimacy, security, and sure liberty that are promised to each one us as we, too, embrace God’s grace and cradle his heart within our own.
Abraham and Sarah enjoyed a season of “newness” within their old. They named their pleasure with a name that reflected the journey which finally brought Eden home to their tent. They named him Laughter.
Undoubtedly, Isaac’s arrival brought a smile across their hearts and a laughter to their souls that had long been buried and almost forgotten. Almost. But the longing for Eden never completely leaves a soul, for God has planted a seed of eternity within the hearts of all men (Ecc. 3:11). And when God sows a seed, there is always hope for a bloom.
And when God speaks a promise, there is never a reason for doubt, for God’s Words speak only one language. Covenant. He speaks with intention and with a plan for seeing seedtime come to harvest. In season and on time, displaying the extraordinary, surpassing, marvelous, wonderful, and distinguishing work of his hands.
I don’t know where you are in relation to the Promise of Eden this day. I do know this. Eden was created with you in mind. It was God’s good pleasure to give us his garden. And even though this life will never allow us a pilgrimage through its literal gates, we have access to its pleasure each time we take hold of his Son and allow him the freedom to fill our aging flesh with the breath that breathes “new” and with the language that speaks covenant.
It has been my privilege to sow this Word alongside you. Some of us share a face to face kind of knowing. Some of us…a blog to blog kind of knowing. But the joy that fills my heart this night, is my belief that most of us share a sister to sister…a brother to sister…a child to child kind of knowing. For we are sons and daughters of the Most High King. He is our Father, and we are called to an eternal inheritance that far exceeds our now. Indeed, it begins now, but it will finish in Eden. The Garden of our forever. The Promise of our next. The home where our Father awaits to punctuate our ending with the extraordinary exclamation of our beginning!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen.
Many thanks to all of you who took the time to participate in this study. Feel free to go back and read the ones you missed. This has been a writing of obedience for me, and I feel blessed to share it with you. Leave comments below or email me with specific concerns (email button on sidebar). May God continue to bless you all with a rich portion of Eden on this side of heaven.
(allrightreserved, elaine olsen – 2008)