A couple of weeks ago I found myself reading a story I probably have read at least a hundred of times over the years. Genesis 3, the story of Adam and Eve when they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. It’s the story that changed EVERYTHING on behalf of humanity (real cool…thanks Adam and Eve).
I must admit, my spirit wasn’t exactly expectant to receive anything from it. But this is what I do in the mornings. Even when I’m not “feeling it.” I read…because I know I need it.
Little did I know God had a really sweet revelation in store for me.
Before I began to read I prayed a simple prayer. “God I want to feel your heart in this story.” And that my friends, is what He did.
This was the verse that got me HARD…
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
I’ll never forget stopping dead in my tracks after reading this verse. I could no longer continue to read because my entire being began to weep on behalf of the Lord. I mean, I straight up wailed. And it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Adam and Eve sinned —it had everything to do with the fact they hid from Him. I felt the Lord’s big daddy, protective heart in this moment scream “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!” on behalf of His children experiencing shame for the first time.
I could feel His heart breaking for them. Not because He was angry, but because all He ever wanted was to love and protect His kids and live in sweet connection with them as the Good Father He truly is.
God’s original heart was that His children would learn how good of a father He is, and live in childlikeness and dependence with Him in the Garden apart from sin; and most importantly, the effects of sin. This was the first time since creation that connection was broken with Him. This was the first time the Father experienced His kids (that He absolutely adored) hiding from Him...because they were afraid…and covered in shame.
Think about it. No good earthly father in a healthy parent/child interaction would EVER want His precious children to hide from Him. A good father is safe to come to, even when His children have messed up.
As I continued to read I had another revelation. The first words out of the Lord’s mouth, after pursuing Adam and Eve out from their hiding was this: “Who told you that you were naked?”
Out of all the things God could have said, the first concern He had was dealing with their shame. Not condemnation. Not punishment.
No….his protective heart went straight to the hiding in shame.
WOW. I’m undone.
My entire life I read this story and only saw the punishment because of the first sin committed in this world. Never….ever…did I see the sweet and kind heart of the Father —who never EVER wanted His kids to experience the effects of sin.
I’m convinced that hiding from God breaks God’s heart far more than any sin we could ever commit. God’s heart is for connection. That's why He sent Jesus to break the power of sin so we could unashamedly dwell with Him in His presence!
Shame is 100% of the enemy. It is never of God.
I can promise you, the big daddy heart I’ve experienced from Him even in the midst of my rebellion is the most powerful thing I’ve experienced in my life. I let Him in on the good, the bad, the ugly...and He loved me through it.
No more hiding people. Let Him in :) He's safe. I promise.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5