SOIL OF THE SOUL
“When situations are out of your control, do you remain in control? What emotions raise their ugly heads during these times—frustration, impatience, anger, irritability? Do damaging words flow from your mouth? Often when life becomes difficult to manage, we simply throw in the towel. We need some practical ways to let go and let God take control of our lives. This week in “The Control Syndrome,” we discover through the Word how to deal with issues that don’t go according to plan. We focus on living in the Spirit and not in the flesh.”
- Carla McDougal
Read Galatians 5:16
According to the NIV Study Bible, “The garden (of Eden) was perhaps near where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet, in what is today southern Iraq. Eden. A name synonymous with “paradise” and related to either (1) a Hebrew word meaning “bliss” or “delight” or (2) a Mesopotamian word meaning “a plain.” Perhaps the author subtly suggests both.” First, God made streams rise to the surface to water the ground. Then, He made man out of the dust of the ground. He planted trees that Adam could eat from that were pleasing to the eye. God gave specific jobs to Adam like naming the beasts and the birds of the air and tending this beautiful place. He also gave him a warning:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die,” says Genesis 2:16-17.
The NIV Study Bible says, “tree of life. Signifying and giving life, without death, to those who eat its fruit (V. 17; 3:3). “Knowledge of good and evil” refers to moral knowledge or ethical discernment (see Dt 1:39; Isa 7:15-16). Adam and Eve possessed both life and moral discernment as they came from the hand of God. Their access to the fruit of the tree of life showed that God’s will and intention for them was life. Ancient pagans believed that the gods intended for man always to be mortal. In eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve sought a creaturely source of discernment in order to be morally independent of God.” How are we seeking to become “morally independent of God?”
God created everything. He prepared the soil and planted the trees, bushes, and herbs. He put a caretaker to tend the garden. When I think of that scenario I think of the place in which God has planted me. I would never have imagined years ago that my life would have evolved in this way, but it’s the garden that God has asked me to tend. I can’t move because the housing market has stalled. My husband and I can’t afford to travel much these days. All signs are pointing here—to this garden—to tend right where I am even though it may not be what we dreamed. He’s in control and has provided for our needs—here. “I wanted my gardening to go as I had planned,” remarks Carla. She didn’t count on the boulder to get in the way of her small garden plot. Whatever plans I had in my life, God always had a better plan. To this day, I am thankful that He didn’t give me MY WAY.
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