23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
The New International Version. (2011). (Ge 3:23–24). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Have you come to the conclusion life is just too hard to do it without Jesus?
Boy I have!
Years ago, when my dad faced his first heart surgery, I sat in the hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and prayed, and then I would look around at the other visitors waiting on surgical news from their loved ones or friends, and then I would pray some more, and then I would look around at the other faces of the crowded waiting room. That’s when I noticed it. I saw the look of those who had hope, and then I saw the look of those who waited and had no hope. This is what I discovered that day in the surgical waiting room: there is a certain glimmer and shine in people who have Jesus to count on. Though you don’t necessarily know the outcome of a certain event, those who have placed their hope in Jesus have a certain Je ne sais quoi – that’s French meaning an indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one. (I looked it up) Those of us who know Jesus as our Savior and Lord have that certain somethin somethin! We have hope and it shines out of our eyes. Our eyes sparkle with it! We have True Grit!
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corintians 4:7 NIV
We don’t come by this true grit naturally. We aren’t born with it. We receive this treasure the moment we cry out “Jesus is Lord of my life! I receive His forgiveness!” At that moment God deposits in us His Holy Spirit and He is the One who gives us our Je ne sais quio, our certain somethin somethin, our True Grit!
At times in my life, I confess, I allow fear, and worry, and doubt to cover up my God given all-surpassing power. I allow busyness of everyday life to bury this treasure. But the moment I unearth it, the minute I start reading the promises of God, this all-surpassing power bursts into my spirit like light shining in the darkness. Why I allow this treasure to get buried under worry and doubt, you might ask? I honestly don’t know; that’s a head scratcher for me. This is what I know: It’s a hard knock life for us. It began with the first act of disobedience, and we have perpetuated that act for generations upon generations. God had no choice but to close the garden and drive Adam and Eve away to toil and sweat over this barren earth. Their curse became our curse. Life became hard outside Eden. That is why God sent His Son. We needed a Savior. Life is too hard to do it without Jesus!
Life of hard knocks
Their feet drug the ground as they left the garden. Regret weighted each step down. In their minds they each played the “what if” game. “What if I hadn’t have been so curious. What if I had just said no to that snake,” Eve played each scenario over in her mind wondering just where she first went wrong. “How could I have let her talk me into this. I knew what God had commanded. I knew the importance of obeying. I heard it in His voice the forcefulness of this command. How easily she talked me into this disobedience,” Adam thought over each of these things. The pit in his stomach grew with each passing thought. Each were silent as they journeyed away from Eden. They were self-absorbed in their own shame. They had known better. Distraught, disgraced, and disgusted with themselves; they walked as though lead weights were strapped to their feet. They turned once after the LORD GOD had run them out of the garden. They saw the cherubim swinging his flaming sword back and forth. There would be no return. They had lost that privilege with their disobedience. They looked at Him. They gazed into His eyes. They saw the hurt reflected there. His look filled them with even more regret. They wanted to say they were sorry, but they didn’t even know where to begin. Their shame kept them from seeing more in the LORD’S eyes. Their shame kept them from seeing the look of mercy written all over His countenance. For their shame and disgust kept their eyes downcast as they walked away. For that is the way of guilt, it keeps us from seeing mercy.
LORD GOD watched their departure. He stood beside the cherubim. He stood strong and wise. He stood as the Everlasting One, the Ancient of Days. And He spoke with authority in His voice, “I will make a way for your return to innocence. I have a plan. And I will watch over you for all your days.” The LORD GOD looked at the cherubim, “guard and keep the way back to the tree of life. Do not let anyone else pass this way again.” He left then to begin the work of redemption.