Hey everyone! So it finally seems as though summer’s moving in to stay. Or at least I can hope that’s the case. After so many miserable days of rain, it feels nice to see the sun. Admitting to the possibility that this might be a temporary thing is just too depressing. It’s nearly June, and I want summer.
Yesterday I came across a really beautiful thought in my book of daily reflections. It began by talking about how God loves to shower us with little glimpses of heaven on earth. That was what the Garden of Eden was for Adam and Eve before they fell. It was heaven on earth. Adam and Eve were able to walk through rows and rows of the most exquisite flowers; their eyes beheld sights that our minds cannot even fathom, as dimmed as they’ve become since the fall. When we try to close our eyes and envision what heaven might be like, or what the Garden of Eden was like, our dreams are just a dull shadow of the reality. However, God didn’t just leave us with images in our head, dreams of rose-strewn, flower-lined paths that we walked long ago, once upon a time. He has blessed us with glimpses of heaven, even as we continue to be strangers and sojourners in this foreign land. He has given us reminders of the world from whence we came, and the home to which we will eventually return. These little glimpses are truly gifts, little windows that bring heaven to us earth-bound children. We have not been left abandoned, but instead God constantly sends us little signs of the beauty and joy to which we are called. They are reminders of our home, our destiny, and the One who loves us. As always, we just need to open our eyes to them.
We lost paradise when the first man and woman fell, and as a consequence of their decision, Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden and angels were set to guard its entrance in order to prevent them from attempting to return to the heaven on earth that they had freely chosen to abandon. They could have spent their entire earthly lives in Eden, but they were prideful and rejected the beautiful gift that they had been given. Adam and Eve fell, and paradise was lost. But that is not the end of the story. Millennia later, the new Adam conquered death and rose again on the third day, after reopening the gates of heaven to mankind. But He didn’t stop there. He didn’t just ascend to heaven and leave us abandoned here on earth. Jesus Christ remained with us, even after He had returned to His Father. He loves us so much that He refused to leave us alone for our temporary exile from our true home. He chose to become our source of sustenance on this journey towards heaven; He chose to become Bread and Wine for us. He chose to remain with us always. When Adam fell, he was placed outside the Garden of Eden. When the new Adam rose, He placed Eden in the hearth of each and every man. Yes, we are exiles in this “valley of tears,” strangers and sojourners on this earth, but we have not been left destitute. Man turned his back on God, but God forgave man and has come to dwell with him. Man forsook heaven, but God brought heaven to earth. Man was exiled from Eden, but Eden has been restored in the heart of every man. Next time you pray, find that Eden. Settle into the depths of your heart, and explore the Garden that has been cultivated there. Is it in pristine condition? In need of some pruning? Completely overrun with weeds? The Garden of your heart is where the Lord resides; let Him transform your heart into His home here on earth. Next time you pray, take some time to walk with God through the pathways of your heart’s Garden. There is so much that the Lord desires to reveal to you there.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!