The Garden of Eden. A perfect place. Created humans, created beasts, living together in harmony with no lack of sustenance. There was no fear. There was no greed or selfishness. There were no lies. The bluest sky. The yellowest sun. The greenest grass. And the colors of vegetation - vivid, drawing one into experiencing the beauty and lusciousness of taste. And the Tree of Life which, once eaten, made you feel as though you had been born again that very moment and that all was fresh and new.
Animals of all shapes and sizes. Spiders, snakes, bees. No worries. In some divine way, they were all connected and amazed at each other.
There were no unpleasantries. There was no anger. There was only love, peace, joy, kindness, tranquility, adventure, excitement, discovery and most of all...Him. The Creator, who spent day in and day out with both of them. What happened in those incredibly desirable moments they walked together in the cool of the day with the Creator? Did He take them to places in the cosmos and show them the farthest reaches of the universe? Maybe, maybe not. But it's fun to think about that. What did the Creator tell them about who He was and who they were? One day we'll know but for now it's purely speculative.
But then, as we know, the two humans were deceived into thinking differently about themselves and God and they disobeyed the one and only command they had to follow. Do not eat of the “other” tree. Not the only other tree in the garden but a very unique and particularly powerful tree with powerful fruit - The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Once a bite was taken of it’s fruit both Adam and Eve suddenly became aware of things they knew they should not know and the serpent who deceived them was satan incarnate himself who hated the Creator and wanted nothing more than to destroy everything He had designed - especially the humans. Not to do away with them mind you. Wouldn’t it be more disastrous to the Creator to simply take away His joy and His delight but still leave the shells of His creation gasping for peace and hope? But on top of all satan did, the humans still hid from the Creator and even blamed each other as well as the Creator for their disobedience, and so were eventually banished from the garden. Forever.
And now here we are. Millenia later living under the curse of that one moment of disobedience. That one moment birthed a living hell that encompassed the earth. A new concept of sin, a disconnect from all that is pure and right. After all, earth was where satan and his fallen angels were banished for the uprising in Heaven to usurp the throne of the Creator. So there they lived as if they had squatters rights and didn't take too kindly to new tenants moving in.
But what was the original plan to look like?
Let’s suppose Adam and Eve hadn't disobeyed; hadn't eaten of the forbidden fruit - at least out of turn? Oooo plot twist Would they have em allowed to eat it one day? After developing a strong and powerful bond with the Creator? Might they have been led into the secrets of a plan to eradicate such evil u leashed on their world? Might the garden, tended day and night by these two humans, have grown? These two humans would give birth to the second generation of mankind and they too would have tended the garden as a family business. What if each successive generation denied themselves, never giving into satan's attempts to deceive. honored the Creator and lived to see the garden cover the entire earth? Would that garden have not only intersected with evil but perhaps, displaced it for good?
Again speculation. But don’t object just yet.
What if we could go back into the garden? It's not a new thought but it is one that I think we can accomplish if we recognize the power that was present there. Now if you recall in scripture, there was only one way - certain death - to get back in. You had to go through these ninja angels - cherubim - who were wielding 6 swords each. And not just any swords - flaming swords. That's actually worse. But prophetically and metaphorically speaking, these could also indicate that we cannot go back to that place of perfection without going through the fire of purification and by being transformed by the word of God. Sounds quite a bit like the journey of the soul rescued from sin by the blood of Jesus.
What if, a marriage deeply affected by betrayal trauma because of sexual brokenness and addiction, could find not only individual healing for each human in the relationship, but marital reconciliation as well by returning to the garden?
In this 8-week session, we will take a walk back through the garden and only allow in what is life-giving, full of the Word of God, encouragement, compliments, peace, healthy emotional regulation, believing the best about the other, dreams, goals, visions, listening and hope. What will not be allowed in the garden is talk of betrayal, pain, blame, shaming, victimhood, anger, disgust, reminders of failures and self centeredness. Body language must also be observed. No rolling of eyes, pretentious smirks, etc.
Do you have it in you to try this out? For the first 15 minutes of each session, we will enter the garden. We will then exit the garden and work on other issues. This is not denial of existing pain and hard work that needs to be done on the outside, but it is done in tandem to bring a new sense of God's presence into the equation.
There will be homework that will be expected to be completed. it could come in the form of a well known workbook or study guide or it may take on a life of its own with other worksheets we offer, or a mix of the two.
Please let us know if we can help you gain access into the garden and subsequently, each other again. Scripture tells us that God has placed eternity in the hearts of mankind. Ecclesiasties 3:11. This means there is an eternity still undiscovered in each other and what an adventure that could be if you could find healing, hope and excitement in living out that journey together.