Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. Genesis 3:23
Last week was the first day of school for my boys and it evoked in me many feelings and emotions. As happens often, I thought about what God felt when we (humans) were sent out to fend for ourselves the first time. That’s what school really is… the first time that our children are out on their own, to fend for themselves and to take care of themselves. If they get bullied, we can’t step in. If they trip and skin their knee, no band aids or mommy kisses. They fall off the monkey bars, we can’t pick them up. They are at the mercy of their new environment to care for themselves. This is an exciting and scary time for a parent!
I wonder if God felt this way at all when he had to remove us from the Garden of Eden and he had to remove his visible presence from our lives. We all assume that it was an easy choice for God to make. He arbitrarily removed us and put a scary angel in the way to keep us from coming back in, but how did that hurt him? How did he handle not being able to pick us up when we fall down? How did he handle not being able to stand up to the bully for us?
The obvious answer is that it broke God’s heart. This was in fact more than he could handle… he would later die himself in order to restore a relationship with us. I think this decision was the hardest one God had to make. Dying for our sins was the easy choice… it restored our relationship with him to what it should have been all along.
Was getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden like the first day of school? I think so, cuz I know I would do anything, including die for my kids… and they are only a few miles away. Our sin is a fundamental flaw that creates a distance between us and God, a rift. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, but sin keeps us from his presence.
God demonstrated his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Thankfully, just like the school day ends, so does our separation from God.