Devotion: Among the Trees

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.

How often do we actually read and meditate on Genesis 3?

Either we dismiss it as a fairy tale portion of the Bible so that we can move forward into the rest of God’s drama, or we assume that we know the story so well that we take for granted its detail: God said Do not Eat, a talking snake said Eat. We ate. We messed up…

But today, as I paused to read Genesis 3:1-11, a new detail emerged. In my mind, I always pictured Adam and Eve hiding behind a rock, sort of like an existential game of hide-n-go-seek. Giggling and laughing and that strange sense everyone gets that they have to pee the moment they try to hide.  But this morning, I noticed one word–Adam and Eve had hidden among the trees.

In Genesis 2, God had offered them full and unfettered access to every tree in the garden, except the one in the middle that stood alone. So, Adam and Eve sought shelter among the bountiful promise God had given them. They were not crouching behind a cold and harden rock slab, they were in and underneath the canopy of God’s creative shelter. They went into the dark and shadowy corner of the Garden, hoping to subsist on that residual promise God had made before they had gone and screwed it all up.

Why does this small observation matter?

Because I began to wonder which of God’s provisions in my life–my home, my family, my job, my intelligence, my striking good looks, my 401k, my humility–am I hiding behind. Am I using the very things God has given me as a way to hide from him? To play it safe? To hedge my bets?

Then I began to pray a very dangerous prayer…expose me God.

Because, one day, God decided to take an axe to his tree grove. He chipped away at the bark, leveling a tree so that it could be stripped down to its grain. Then he lashed another piece of wood across that trunk. And upon that tree, he drove his Son.

Because I went hiding into the shelter of these trees, God decided to come after me…calling me out of hiding with a simple question: “Where are you?”

Which tree are you going to place your trust in?

So what trees are you hiding behind? What are you relying on for protection and security other than God?

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