If you woke up this morning feeling that everything in your world is better-than-good and you’re fully satisfied, this article may not be for you. This is for those who are hungry for something more, who long for things to be good again. God doesn’t want you to beat your deepest desires into oblivion; they’re a clue to what you were originally created for.
Living in the in-between time is hard, really hard. There’s part of you that remembers Eden even though you’ve never experienced it. And another part of you probably holds onto the hope that if you believe in God you’ll get to heaven one day. But we’re not living in Eden now – neither Eden past nor Eden restored.
The problem comes when we forget where we are in the story. Knowing we’re in the in-between time doesn’t give us a free pass for bad behavior or a bad attitude. In this season we’re required to engage in the work of transformation with God – personally and in our world.
But we must keep our eyes on our future in order to make it. Jesus had to do that: “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2). As C.S. Lewis wrote, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world” (Mere Christianity).
So, could it be you were created for Eden? What of Eden does your soul long for?
Created for Wholeness and Intimacy
Origin stories are compelling. So what about your origin story? Before you were a glint in your mommy’s or daddy’s eyes you were a glint in God’s eyes. God created human beings in His image. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). We often take that too lightly. You and I uniquely were created in the likeness of the Creator of the universe.
The way something is made tells you about its purpose. Your makeup, the very DNA of your being, the integrated way in which your body, soul, and spirit are knit together, was meant for glory. You were designed for shalom – wholeness, peace, goodness. Because isolation is not good, the way you were made includes design for intimacy – with God and with others.
That was the essence of Eden. Nothing missing, nothing broken. No barriers between humankind and God or between humans individually. “Naked, and … not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). And Adam and Eve’s activity had purpose. They carried an executive role in God’s administration of this earth (Genesis 1:26).
Can you notice what was not part of humankind’s design? You were not created for death – to live a few years (or many years) on this earth and then die; you were created for eternity. Your design did not include templates for dealing with sickness, decay, isolation, pain, brokenness, addiction, loss, greed, exploitation, trauma, sin, or anything else bad. It’s no wonder you struggle in dealing with all the junk; that’s not what you were made for!
Yes, God knew all that would happen when He designed you. Your design also includes problem-solving and resilience. And He is with you. Soak in the reality that God made you for unadulterated goodness, wholeness, and intimacy.
The End Goal
“Begin with the end in mind,” said Steven Covey often. And that’s how God has operated since before the foundation of the world. His end goal – and His end goal for you – has not changed. God created you for glory, and to glory you will go. That is, if you want that glory.
All of Scripture after Genesis 3 can be explained as God doing what it takes to get you back to glory. It’s that big of a deal, and He’s not about to give up on His plans. The Old Testament repeatedly foretells of glory and the New Testament is full of the same. The last 2 chapters of Revelation describe “the restoration of all things,” when everything will finally be good again.
Just a handful of Scriptures to back that up:
- “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind” (Isaiah 65: 17).
- “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
- “and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10).
- “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”” (Revelation 21:3-4).
Everything bad has been done away with. God has done what it takes to make everything right. Once again humankind (those who so choose) are in an environment of unadulterated goodness, wholeness, shalom, intimacy – forever.
So how shall we then live now? We’re not in unadulterated goodness right now. So what do we do? At the risk of being way too brief, a few ideas:
- Keep eternity in mind. This is not as good as it gets. Don’t you ever forget that God created you for more, for goodness.
- Live in grace. Knowing this evil was not what you were designed for helps make sense of your emptiness and longing. Grief and lament are appropriate.
- Start practicing now. This life is not just a holding pattern; it’s practice for eternity. Start living that way now – pursuing intimacy, joy, hope, peace, love, etc.
Working out what this looks like in our daily lives is messy. It takes work to cooperate with God in our transformation to become like His Son (Romans 8:29). But remember that you aren’t the one needing to come up with the plan; your job is to keep showing up. And keep saying Yes.
Your Turn: Where do your deepest desires long for things to be good again? What might it mean to embrace that you were created for more, for eternity? Leave a comment below.
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- You were not created for this mess – for death, sickness, addiction, loss, grief, pain, sin. You were created for glory! And to glory you will go – if you want it. Tweet that.
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