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Paradise lost and restored

Spring is a favorite season of the year for me. After what seems like months of dreary, overcast days with little color to brighten the day, it is great to see trees bud, bushes bloom and grasses green up. It is fascinating to me how something that looked dead and done in for, all of a sudden shows again signs of life. Even more amazing, this change has occurred without fail for thousands of years! In a world where many things break down, fall apart, need repair or become completely useless, spring returns every year, as sure as day follows night.

Spring seems to bring out something of the perfection that we see in original creation. After every day of creating something out of nothing, the unmade Maker summed up his work with the words: “And it was good.” When he had fashioned human beings he even stated: “It was very good.”

Newly created man and woman began to enjoy the garden with all its sensory delights and especially their close relationship with Creator. Soon after, tempted by the deceiver in chief, first man and woman gave in to disrespect and disobedience by breaking the only command they had been given, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Instead of greater knowledge, they experienced shame, guilt and disruption of the most perfect union with their Maker. Instead of walking and talking with their Creator, they now hid from Him. This event, known as the “Fall” led to their deportation from the garden and hardship in giving birth and working to make a living. Worst of all, they would die, and return to the ground from which they had been shaped.

While what occurred was a terrible thing, I think the “Fall” almost causes us to lose sight of the perfection, the peace, the harmony of what God created. As we observe signs of spring around us, maybe it is good to remember Creation as it was at the beginning. What makes God’s story epic is not that we humans messed up, but that despite our failure, Creator goes to work to restore the original wholeness. Yes, the road to wholeness leads through the cross on which Creator gave His own life for ours, an event which we also commemorate during spring.

As you enjoy spring and the new life budding everywhere, will you join me in celebrating God’s provision? By trusting and following Him, we get to taste the perfection of the beginning now, life that lasts forever.

Volkhard Graf is with Youth with a Mission in Kamiah.


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