I was tucking one of my daughters into bed the other night. I kissed her pretty face and told her that I loved her. It was a sweet moment until she said some all too familiar words, at least as of lately. “Mom, ALL of our friends can ____________. Why can’t we?”
It hit me in that moment: She thinks I’m holding out on her. Just like I thought my parents were, when I was young. I realize this vicious cycle started long before my time. In fact, it began with the very first woman and has attacked every one of us since.
We’ve all felt like someone was holding out on us, haven’t we? There’s some “forbidden fruit” dangling that must taste better than all the ordinary stuff we’ve been allowed to have. But truth be told, most of us could forego a dangling apple or pomegranate, however, we still have “forbidden fruit”. Ours just looks more like power, control, or significance. Call it what you will, but the desire to “be” somebody runs pretty deep in each of us.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve were given every beautiful and delicious gift as their own in the lovely Garden of Eden. They could walk in beauty and purity like we’ve never been able to know. To that point, their relationship was without sin and therefore, I can only imagine what their “marriage” was like. As they walked through the garden, every juicy fruit and vegetable was hand-crafted by the Creator-Chef, himself. It must have been a “Foodie’s” dream! But before I get lost in the thought of all that delicious food, let’s remember that this had little to do with the actual taste of the fruit. What Eve really desired in that moment was knowledge, power, and the opportunity to be great.
“You can eat of every tree in the garden, just not that one in the middle”, God had said to them.
But Satan was crafty, we’re told. So, he appealed to her desire for greatness. “You’re not really going to die. God just knows that your eyes will be opened and you’ll be like him, knowing everything, if you do.”(Paraphrased)
Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes.”
Can’t you see her wondering to herself? “It looks so good. What am I missing out on?”
As thoughts continued to race through my mind that night, I began to tell my daughter what I knew God was prompting me to share with her.
“You know, what you’re feeling is normal. You see something you want to do and you feel like you’re missing out. I understand that. You’re a lot like Eve was in the Garden of Eden. She felt like God was holding out on her, too. She was deceived, Honey. God wasn’t holding out on Eve. He was protecting her. He had a better plan for her. She just chose to disobey.”
And because she knows the outcome of that story, her face turned “serious”.
I share this story with you, because I wonder how many of you feel God’s been “holding out” on you. It’s easy for us to sneer at Eve’s decision to listen to a snake and make the biggest mistake of her life, but she and Adam were strategically placed in the garden with every need met and even they wondered if there was “more”. They (like us at times) chose not to trust God and because they were deceived into believing that God was holding out on them, ended up having to leave the protection of the beautiful Garden of Eden.
You might not be getting your heart’s desire, but you must know that your Creator, who intimately made you, loves to give good gifts to his children.(Matthew 7:11) When God says “no”, he has something else in store. Seek him first. Get to know his heart. In time, you’ll see that “forbidden fruit” for the lie that it really is.
*Read the complete story in Genesis 3