We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion-year-old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden
~ Joni Mitchell-Woodstock
A friend of mine confessed to a crisis of faith today, and that sent me back to the time that man rejected God and died. We can only guess what the nature of that death was, since we would have to be walking in the Garden of Eden with God to even understand what that life was about. We do know from Genesis that Adam died that day, yet Adam continued to live another 930 years. The paradox is only solved if Adam had a different life than the one had before his disobedience.
God uses the term “Father” to help us understand his nature, but when we read the account of the Garden in Genesis, Adam walks with God in the Garden. Man does not walk in the Garden with God today even if some of us do call him Father. The gates to the Garden are shut by two mighty Cherubim, implying that the Garden is a place that man will not enter again, despite Joni’s lyrics. At the end of the ages, God destroys the heavens and the earth, and creates a new one. All we know about that place is that there is no death, no violence, and probably no marriages. Until that time, wars, violence, and death are still with us, but with some limits during the Millennial Age.
God didn’t create the war in the Ukraine. Man did. It is not God’s world. We still live in man’s creation, albeit with the Breath of God restored in some of us. I don’t have the knowledge to explain that mystery. Those who have the Breath of God know it at a subconscious level, and those who don’t have the Breath of God cannot possibly know what it is, and should be treated respectfully for that ignorance, because man cannot give it.
We are indeed sojourners, strangers in a strange land. And it is an ugly land, bereft of the presence of God. We must walk by a different light than others.