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Life in the Garden

Amazing is Your creation, Oh Lord!
The wind follows your command and
the mountains bow before You.
Help me to see I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Focus of the Month: Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Hope

Perhaps you have forgotten just how wonderful you are to your Creator. How can something so true be so hard to grasp? Maybe we think our mistakes are too great? Yet, the God of the universe, the maker of Heaven and Earth says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The same God who created the amazing mountain ranges, the colors of the sunset and the fields full of wildflowers fashioned you.

I have never heard anyone say a sunset was hideous, or a mountain looked anything less than spectacular. Have you? So why can’t we see ourselves as God sees us? Today we go back to the beginning to meet Eve, the first woman, who was made in the image of her Creator.

Do you find it difficult to think about the story of Eve without the mention of Adam? Most of us have read the tragedy of how this couple ate of the forbidden fruit and the fallout that followed for mankind. But what about the prequel? What about the day Eve came into existence? How important is her story for us as women? It is imperative to understand why God shaped her and how incredible the creation of “woman” truly is.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’ (Genesis 2:18-23)

Eve was purposefully formed by God to be a helper to Adam. At first glance we might be tempted to take offense to the expression “helper”. But, I encourage you to look deeper into the meaning of what a helper truly is before taking that road. God did not want man to be alone. In fact, He said “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

When I think of all the qualities a woman who helps others has, it shines a new light on the word. She will be by his side. She will come to his aid, offer support and wise advice. She will seek good for him, and will be a loving example of genuine care for him. He will benefit from her. Jesus also speaks of a helper in the New Testament.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26)

The helper is the Holy Spirit! Think about that – the Holy Spirit guides, teaches, counsels, helps, reassures, encourages, stands in prayer for us when we don’t know what to pray. Can you imagine becoming the helper to your husband in this way? I am not suggesting we are equal to the Holy Spirit, but when we are willing to offer the help, care, prayer and encouragement our husbands need – wouldn’t that be a wonderful and powerful gift?

We don’t have many details of Adam and Eve’s relationship in paradise before sin entered. We know the garden was a perfect place. We know God provided their every need. We know there was no shame, no guilt and no pain. Eve did not need to compare herself, degrade herself or wonder about her worth. She was fearfully and wonderfully made. The difference between us and Eve…is that she was created in a sinless perfect environment while we were created in an environment that yearns for the garden.

When we sin or tragedy strikes, feelings get hurt, or arguments happen, we will have fall-out just like Eve did in the garden. Our ability to be “helper” can feel impossible. Let’s remember that “in the beginning” God created us in His image and He continues to do so today. Eve was the mother of all! She was loved by God even though her actions had repercussions. Her mistake wasn’t too big for God to redeem it. And neither are ours.

Be encouraged by Eve’s story! She was so much more than a woman who “ate of the fruit”! God continued His plan for her, regardless of her mistake. God saw her as beautiful and wonderful! You are forgiven and free to delight in helping just as the Holy Spirit helps you!

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Psalm 139:14; Genesis 2:18-23; Genesis 3; John 14:26


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