“A Place for Presence”
Genesis 3:21-24 says, “And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. Then the LORD God said, “Look, the human beings have become like Us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and He sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And He placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”
I believe this passage has special has meaning for you today. Recently I re-examined my impressions about the Garden of Eden. I guess I had assumed it no longer exists, it was destroyed because of man’s sin. This is not supported by Scripture. I have come to believe that this special place His presence and fruitfulness does exists. And our Father invites us, you and me to return.
My visits to the UK over the years have brought me to appreciate the creativity and beauty of the English garden. Deep in the urban sprawl, there are countless enclaves of tranquility. Even a small place can be transformed into a restful place by the right mix of plants and care. Is it possible the desire to cultivate is a gift from our God, our Father who longs to meet with you in the cool of the day?
The Garden of Eden is a beautiful place, not only because its designer is unspeakably creative, but because He is there. I believe this place remains, unseen because it is in the spiritual realm, guarded by cherubim. No troublemakers are allowed to enter! Only those redeemed by the self-sacrifice of Jesus which when appropriated by repentance cleanses our sin. His disciples are invited to visit this garden, a spiritual place for refreshing, for Presence.
The distinguishing factor of this garden is although it currently exists outside of the visible realm, it is available all the time. And Father is calling. “Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Rest comes from God’s presence. Rediscovering Presence, embracing Presence, giving and receiving love in Presence brings peace.
This revelation is always relevant. Probably more so in the situation in where we find ourselves today. Has the increased workload, isolation and stress produced by the Covid-19 lockdowns robbed of His presence? Be aware… the challenges to find peace of mind and time to wait on God will only increase as the restrictions are lifted. We need Presence. Now more than ever before. Can you hear the call of the Holy Spirit? “Come! Close your eyes. Come to my garden. I have instructed the Cherubim to let you pass.” You can enter whenever you hear the invitation. It is no doubt helpful, but you don’t have to be in a garden. You can be in the office. Washing dishes. On the tube. Waiting to pick up the kids from school. Any place where you can step aside from this physical reality.
The first verse of the passage I just quoted describes the immediate provision Father made to rebuild the relationship lost in the Fall. It did not allow for return to the garden. Jesus came to our reality, though tempted lived sinless, qualifying Him to die and offer to redemption, removing the disqualification of sin which keeps one from the garden. I invite you to receive His gift of redemption, salvation, today. “For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
In closing, I invite you to stop for a moment right now. It may help to close your eyes, whatever is needed to minimize the distractions of this natural realm. Can you hear Jesus calling? “Come!” If so, walk with Him into the garden, find a place to sit down and rest with Him in His presence.