There they were in the garden. Man created in the image of God. A single rib taken to craft stunning beauty, a helper designed with detailed intent, a companion worthy of him. The crowning achievement of the Father warranting an affirmation of “goodness” from the lips of the one who’d just spoken the world into existence.
There were no thorns to prick the skin. There was no need to till the ground. The earth yielded abundance to them from divine mist that covered creation each morning. That alone is phenomenal to me, to think what it must have felt like to be covered by a mist sent from His own hand. What was it like to truly be kept…to walk with God in the cool of the day?
Then along came a serpent…
Even now his slanderous tongue spews poison to our souls. Did God REALLY say? Is there something more He’s not telling you? You can be like God. Dig deep within and listen and you may hear it. The scar on humanity left at the scene of the slandering. The whispered notion that it’s not quite good enough.
I hear it from time to time, the echoing accusations slither in to tell me that at the core of me I am naked and I should be ashamed. At the end of the day, when I’ve done all I could do before collapse, I hear the whisper that I have not done enough. I don’t think I’m alone in this. The scores of books written telling us how to a better parent, a better wife, a better lover, a better businessman, all serve as proof that we humans have an innate drive to be better. We forget that God looked at His creation and called it “good”.
So we sew leaves into coverings and though we are firmly planted in the garden of His grace, we feel the need to hide. We are ashamed and lulled to discontent by the siren song of something more. It looked good and pleasant to eat. Maybe the wisdom we attained, the knowledge of good and evil, was only the ability to discern the complete goodness of God juxtaposed against the inadequacies of man. We look at what God created as good and pure and view it as neither.
Don’t misunderstand me, when sin entered the world, it brought with it a world of death and ugliness. I do not in any way think that we should look upon sin as acceptable and call the ugly beautiful. But Adam and Eve didn’t just hide their sin. They also hid themselves, their beauty, their security, their intimacy. They hid from God.
God didn’t despise them, he called to them, “Where are you?” He longed for them. They felt exposed and unworthy…naked and ashamed. His simple question still rings out over the earth. “Who told you that you were naked?”
Who told you that you aren’t good enough? Who told you that you are a bad mother? Who told you that you aren’t a good enough wife? Who told you that you don’t make enough money? Who told you that you’ll never amount to anything? Who told you that you are ugly or not thin enough or too thin? Who told you that your ears are too big or your nose or your eyes?
Whoever it was and whatever it was, it wasn’t God. He looks at His creation and rests and calls it good. He looks at your abilities, your talents, your personality, who you are at the core of your being and he sees a masterpiece. You are the only you. He knows everything about you, even the ugly stuff and he still loves you.
Fortunately for us, He made provision for the ugly stuff. That day in the garden, he promised that would bruise the head of the liar and crush him underneath the heel of the redeemer (Genesis 3:15). He made good on that promise using some wood, nails and an empty tomb and exalting forever a Savior. So the next time those whispers try to slither into your soul, remember that you aren’t naked anymore and drown those whispers out with gladness.
Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness”