Steady Rails

“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’” (Genesis 3:4)

Bare-­armed, she reached for the fruit, yanked it free, and tumbled down an unchangeable course, wrenching all of us along with her in that sudden, devastating fall. Eve, deceived by the Deceiver in his enticing regalia, lured her husband too.

Together they took a turn forever-­far away from the one the Creator had designed.

Up to that point in the garden, Adam and Eve had trusted that God knew what was best. When Satan bent their ear his way, they decided that God was no longer sufficient to make the right decisions. They took matters into their own hands, believing the lie that somehow God had been keeping the best from them. They believed the serpent’s savvy speech rather than the Creator who spoke intimately with them “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8).

Somehow their example trickles down and clings to me. I mimic this pair   each time I reach outside the realm of his design, the repercussion of their rebellious choice evident in my longing to decide for myself what is worthwhile. The Lord left me his sacred Words as lamppost and siren, as blazing midnight stars to illuminate the dark canopies and dangerous terrains. Yet I squeeze my eyelids tight, trusting my own blindness rather than the radiance he provides.

Mindful of my propensity for foolish ways, the Lord gives me guidelines and steady rails to lean on. “Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good…rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”41 He left us two Testaments packed with satisfying fruit to draw sustenance from, and to nourish others along.

In our hands we have living Words for the cool part of the day, the high-­beamed noontime, and the darkened cover of nightfall.

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