Word of the Day
When God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He gave them only one negative command, and that was to leave the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil alone (Gen.2:15-17; notice that God gave this command to the man and not the woman).
But true to our nature, we will always do the ONE thing we are not supposed to do, and when we do, we suffer the consequences. And that is just what happened here and it has plagued the human race ever since.
Sin carries so many consequences beside just death itself. Every problem that we see in this world can be traced back to the Garden of Eden and the introduction of sin into the human experience. Yes, God pronounced death upon the race, but as we see further in Genesis 3:1-19, the human race was introduced to what we know now as the simple, everyday issues of life, sorrow, hard labor and the frustrations of just living.
One of those frustrations and sorrows is pain. Before they chose to rebuke God and His commandment, Adam and Eve lived a perfect and pain-free life. They didn’t keep Tylenol, Advil, Aleve nor any other kind of pain relief medication in their cabinet. They didn’t know what pain caused by family issues, financial problems, loss, colds, flu, broken bones or old age was. They never dreamed that one day their bodies would be plagued by arthritis, deterioration, slower and shorter steps, heart problems, cancer or any other disease. They knew perfection, peace, plenty and purity.
Alas, we humans just don’t seem to enjoy when all things go well. O, we tell ourselves that we love the sunshine and happiness, but we always seem to seek pain and problems. It was true then and true today. And many times all these things comes crashing down on each of us with terrible effects on us and on our lives.
As a teenager and a young man, I was invincible; I could and would do anything. Being raised in a very rural area of southwest Louisiana, we had livestock, we farmed, we had and did all the things that true “country folk” do. Country living was a lot different in those days than what the magazines glorify as “country living” today. It was not all beauty and plenty, It was just plain old hard work.
For an example, I was the oldest child of four in the family and when I was nine years old my daddy turned the plowing over to me. Now I’m not talking about a tractor, I am talking about an old gray mare. We didn’t know what a tractor was back then, we did all our plowing with that gray mare. I also had the privilege of being given the responsibility of taking over the milking of the two cows morning and evening and taking care of all the cattle we had(not that many), and the hogs. No, we did not have automatic milkers. The “milkers” were my two hands.
I’m not complaining about this. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed both chores. It was the other things that occurred that went along with all this. For instance, I began to look upon myself as being a “cowboy”. I learned to use a rope rather efficiently. If I could reach it with rope I would catch it.
I decided to rope a bull that we had. He weighed about 700-800 pounds and was all bull. I had the bull in a fenced area where the barn was and I was on foot. I roped him but found out rather quickly that it was something I should not have done. He dragged me around like a rag doll. I stayed on my feet, alright, but stopping him was impossible. You never thought that anyone could run as fast as I was trying to stay up with him and stay on my feet. Turning loose of the rope was not an option, it was wrapped around my wrist.
Around and around the barn we went. And just when I thought all was lost I came up with a brilliant idea. I decided to try to catch up with him by about two steps and when we went around the corner of the barn the next time I would quickly run around one of the barn posts, wrapping the rope around the huge post that held up the corner of the barn, and stop him. It worked but I paid a great price for my foolish childhood exercise.
I decided that I could ride bulls, and did, only to have them fall with, and on, me. O, that hurt! And then to make bad matters even worse, when I was nineteen, a tree fell on me and broke my back in three places. On top of everything else I have had three back surgeries, the last one leaving me unable to walk.
When I was thirteen years old, I went to work with my dad in the woods using dynamite blowing up stumps and loading them, by hand, on a truck. I worked harder at that early age than grown men work today.
I don’t mean any of this as bragging at all. That was just the way we lived and I was foolish enough to think that I could do all this and not experience any consequences from it. Boy, was I wrong!
Now at the ripe old age of seventy-six. pain is a constant companion. I’m not trying to elicit sympathy because almost everyone else my age can relate tales such as mine. I am just trying to point out that in my youth, I was invincible and set out to prove it and now I am enjoying all the painful benefits of it all. And again, many in my age group can relate similar tales. And as the man said, if I even thought I would have lived this long, I would have taken better care of myself in my youth.
And I am sure that many of the current crop of high school and college football players will have similar stories when they reach old age. That is just the way we are and the way life is.
What I am saying is simply this–because of the sin imposed on the human race by our common first parents, we experience so much pain, and much of it is not just physical. Pain comes in so many forms and venues. And all of us who belong to the human race can attest to the truthfulness of it all.
So, what do we do when we fall into the pits of pain so deeply that nothing can be done, humanly speaking, to grant relief? Some pain has no treatment nor medication to grant relief. Some pain, even though it may be physical, is so severe that all the treatments or medication makes no dent in it. The pain hangs on no matter what we do, or have done, for us.
We are human and we are doomed to live with all the effects of sin that have been passed on down to us. Try as we may, there is no relief, no release, no freeing of ourselves from sin’s terrible consequences.
But, one day some two thousand years ago, something took place on this earth that has changed everything for us. While we still have to live with it all, the wonderful, precious Son of God died on that cruel Roman Cross and paid the price for all our sin, our pain, our failures, our foolish acts, our painful days and every other malady that we deal with. And He capped off that awful price on the Cross by rising from the dead and defeating every enemy we humans have to deal with!
And, one of these days, it will be all over and when that day comes, all pain will be done away with(Rev.21:4). And, I, for one, am ready for that day to come! ARE YOU??