Sunday, July 5, 2009

The promise of apple blossoms

I woke thinking about the fall of Adam and Eve, and of how certainly I would make the same choice that they did.

I thought about the beauty of God's creation, and of the splendor of that first garden and all that was in it. And I wondered about that tree; how lovely must it have been?

It must have been very lovely indeed.

I took a look at what the scriptures had to say:

Gen. 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

It was pleasing to the eye, and desirable.

I'm guessing that was an understatement. A vast one. I'm guessing that the tree was incredibly beautiful, and the fruit magically enticing.

And I thought about my own struggles.

How delicious it would be to approach the tree, to press up against its roughness, to smell the fragrance of leaf and bark and temptation.

I would climb up and rest among the boughs, feeling the wind swaying my cradle, and reach out now and then for a taste of certain sweetness.

I completely understand the desire Lewis describes; to want to get inside to where all the beauty comes from.

And it is hard to understand how sin can be so thoroughly enmeshed in beauty. The beauty is so very understandably desirable.

How can the wanting of such beauty be wrong?

And then God, in his generousity, sent this reading in my morning devotional:

2 Cor. 12:6-10 Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me because of the abundance of the revelations. Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

I can't say that I pray that my thorn be removed, because it is too enmeshed with the beauty. The beauty is too beautiful to sacrifice.

But He shows me that in this struggle, in this recognition of my weakness, in the knowledge that I too would eat of the beautiful fruit, He is strong. As I acknowledge the draw of the beauty, He grows in strength in me. As I surrender all pretense of courage and honor and fortitude, He rises up.

So I dream of the tree, and rest in His strength, trusting that the garden He has created for me is perfect in every way, despite the beauty of the tree beyond it's borders. Perhaps even enhanced by it.

And I am comforted by the sight of it in the distance, and the scent of apple blossoms, promising fruit.


Anonymous said...

This is the kind of writing that causes me to pause...and sigh...and reflect. I loved this line so much

"I can't say that I pray that my thorn be removed, because it is too enmeshed with the beauty. The beauty is too beautiful to sacrifice"

I do not dole out those blog awards, but if I did, and if I were to chose just one, it would be yours.

I may post along these lines soon and would love to quote some of yoru words in this post (and link of course)

Suzanne Marie DeWitt said...

Thank you for your kind words glass house girl... perhaps we are kindred souls?