I want to introduce you to the concept of a restoration moment. Have you ever had a past mistake, offense or embarrassing snafu that haunted you, and made you feel less than who you are in Christ? I think it is safe to say we have all experienced something of this order. It’s a terrible feeling; one I would like to get a way from!
It is when we are at our lowest place of guilt, shame and embarrassment we most need the affirmation of others. God can bring us refreshment through the affirming words of others in an unsuspecting moment – in a restoration moment!
Right from the get-go, God’s first creation had need of such a restoration moment to say the least. We often look at the totality of the impact of Adam’s and Eve’s failings, but can you imagine the personal impact to them? Talk about guilt, shame and embarrassment; they not only blew it for everyone else, but they also blew the cool gig they had going, too! They lived in beauty. God would come down and walk with them in the cool evenings. They had no knowledge of evil – child abuse, starvation, wars, genocide, suffering or Ebola – they lived a perfect life of God’s provision and peace.
When they were thrown out of the garden, what do you suppose was going through their as they realized the gravity of their mistake? In particular, what about the person of Eve, whom bears the brunt of the guilt for being deceived into introducing sin into our world?
“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ”. 2 Corinthians 11:3
Even though Adam did his part to make sure that his wife was seen as the guilty party (Genesis 3:12) he did not continue to pour on the damnation for the remainder of their marriage. I mean, this was a big deal! They had had it made it up until Eve succumbed to temptation. Now, they could no longer walk with God in the cool of the day – how tragic! They were forced from their lovely garden home and forced to work the land. Think how terrible it is when someone loses their home for whatever reason, only to work hard the rest of their lives without ever regaining what they had – now multiply that by a gazillion, and we still would not be able to imagine the depths of their loss. It was personally tragic for them both.
Many years ago, a co-worker of mine experienced something similar when he found his home was in foreclosure due to his wife’s financial mismanagement. She was a stay-at-home wife – sweet, lovely girl, too – but she had found her time alone day after day to be too much. In order to feed her emotional needs, she began shopping and shopping AND shopping. Unbeknownst to her husband she was spending all of his income on frivolous things. He brought home the check, and she had the responsibility of paying the bills, but she wasn’t. It practically ruined them.
This is a similar account of what Adam and Eve experienced, but on a much smaller scale. I don’t know if my colleague’s marriage survived, or if he has berated his wife throughout their marriage, but we can read about how Adam treated his wife.
“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” Genesis 3:20
I found it odd that Adam had given his wife the name Eve, which means, “Life” after she had cost them theirs. Did you realize that when Eve was tempted by the snake that she was still unnamed at that point? It was after the unfortunate incident with the serpent that she was given her name. Some disenchanted husbands may have been less than kind in naming their wives after such a devastating incident. He could have named her Pandora (for releasing all evils of the world) or Maleficent (working or productive of harm or evil). Instead, Adam gave his wife an honorable name.
I just wonder what she thought. Was she still reeling from the guilt, shame and embarrassment over her grave mistake? Did she realize the significance of her name in relation to the magnitude of destruction she had introduced through the bite of one piece of fruit? I hope so. I hope it lifted her head and did away with her less-than feelings. Her new name gave hope, not condemnation.
Sometimes a restoration moment comes when someone extends us a special kindness or gives us a special honor despite our failings. What a restoration moment! Have you possibly experienced a restoration moment like this?
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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, she is able to bring a clear word for authentic Christian living. Through her book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press), she imparts 1 Peter 4:7 with the gift of structured prayer journaling. If you would like to schedule Gina to speak on prayer or host a prayer journaling workshop, click here for more information. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.
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