Life was sweet. Until it wasn’t.
I used this melodramatic statement on the jacket of my recently released book, Imperfect Lies. For several of the characters in the story, life went from everything they wanted to nothing they wanted or could have imagined. All in the blink of an eye.
I’ve thought about this statement a lot since penning it—Life was sweet. Until it wasn’t—and came to the realization that this has been the theme down through the ages. Just as we get our life right where we want it—boom! Life happens. Plans go awry and once again we’re reminded we aren’t in control. Even so, we pick up the pieces, put them back together best we can, and try again to put everything in order … until it happens again.
Why does this happen over and over?
Let’s travel back through the ages, to the very beginning of time. According to the first words in the Bible (Genesis 1:1 NKJV), In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Read on and you learn that God created light to illumine the darkness, and it was good. He created day and night, the seas and land. He covered the dry land with vegetation and created animals. He added creatures to the sea, and fowl to fly through the air. He made the sun and moon and stars.
And then God created man in His own image. And indeed, it was very good (Genesis 1:31).
Until it wasn’t.
Satan set the course for all mankind the day he came into the garden. He added wrong to right, evil to goodness, and ugliness to the beauty God had created. And yes, God loved his creation, mankind, enough that he allowed them to make choices. They chose wrong, and devastating as the consequences were, He allowed man (us) to err, to suffer, and hopefully learn from the consequences.
My old grandmother used to say, “Some lessons are harder learned than others.” I believe the lesson from the Garden of Eden is the ultimate lesson: to obey God’s commands. It’s one we continue to struggle with today.
God still gives us hints of the life he meant for us, though; reminders of how sweet life with Him can be. Think about the peace and serenity of a quiet lake. The soft colors of sunrise and a majestic fiery sunset. A baby’s coo. A snow-covered mountain. A child’s laughter. The clean, fresh scent of the earth after a cleansing rain. The kiss of a loved one. Skin warmed by bright sunshine. White sand. A blue-green ocean. Insects chirping at nightfall. Birds singing with joy. The smile of an aged grandmother. Clouds. Rainbows. And the vast magnificence of the heavens.
Yes, the heavens. All we have to do is look up with open eyes to see the splendor of creation. The stars, sun and moon, the comets and eclipses—all signs to draw our eyes, minds, and hearts to Jesus.
Time and again through scripture, whenever the people looked up, the Lord God Almighty answered, because life is sweet … when we keep our eyes on the Lord.