Dear Modern Mama,
Even if you don’t spend much time in the Bible, you’ve probably heard of me. I’m Eve, the first woman on earth, the mother of all mothers. Perhaps you have heard of the beautiful garden where my husband Adam and I made our first home. Newlyweds with a great place to live—rent-free, an in-person relationship with our Lord God, and the most incredible flowers you have ever seen. I could go on and on about the incredible flora and fauna, but it all changed suddenly and dramatically, which is what I want to talk about.
Have you ever sinned? I learned about sin by experience—sadly, I’m one of the original experts on it. I define sin as anything I think, say, or do that disobeys God. Have you thought, spoken, or acted against God and then felt guilty? What made you realize that you sinned against God? Perhaps the Holy Spirit convicted you. That can be tough, but imagine God’s conviction given in-person! Very scary, which is why my husband Adam and I initially hid from God. When God asked Adam directly if he had eaten from the tree that God commanded us not to, we knew we were caught in our sin. Guilty. Both of us. The blaming followed: Adam blamed me and I blamed the serpent. My advice? Don’t try the “he said/she said” argument in front of our all-knowing God. I don’t recommend it.
After that confrontation, the more that Adam and I recognized our sins, the more we felt guilty. Our Creator God loved and provided for us. The one thing He warned us about is what I disobeyed. How could I turn my back on my loving Lord God to believe that lying serpent? That serpent did nothing but deceive me! In contrast, God had created, provided for, and loved me personally and unconditionally. What was I thinking?! I turned my back on all of that to believe a lie. And I acted in disobedience. And then, I talked my husband into doing the same.
Caught. Found guilty. Punished. Both Adam and I had to live out the consequences of our sins. We shifted from the purity of God’s creation to covering our guilty shameful selves with leaves. God drove us away from His presence. From an easy life as caretakers of God’s beautiful garden with readily available food, we were forced out—to a life of hard work. As sinful beings, we could no longer stay in the garden with our holy Lord God. That’s when my terror of snakes started. (And, Modern Mama, I’m sorry about that childbirth pain! Please know that I experienced the same curse—that nasty labor pain—because my firstborn Cain was born outside the garden.)
Yes, we once had it all: time with God in-person and a care-free, purposeful life. Our sins interrupted everything and shut us out of God’s presence. But God was merciful and did not punish us with immediate death as our sins deserved. (He even made garments for us out of animal skins!) In the middle of the consequences given for our sins, God gave the first promise of His Messiah. That gave us hope. Although no longer present in-person, God remained a significant part of our lives. Through backbreaking labor (both in farming and childbirth), parenting, dealing with our kids’ sibling rivalry, and other challenges, we always kept the hope of God’s promise. We knew there was a better place, because we had seen and experienced it.
Modern Mama, you have God’s promises in writing. As you may have read, I committed awful sins, but I also experienced God’s mercy. He didn’t kill me for my sins, even though I truly deserved death as a consequence. We all do! But God sent His son—in-person—to sacrifice for all of our sins. Take it from me, God is merciful and and He offers forgiveness. Please don’t give up hope. Read your Bible for the whole story.
And remind me to tell you about that beautiful garden . . .