The Tree in the Garden of Eden
- Matter of choice
- Garden of Eden
- The tree of life in the Proverbs
- Daily list of desires
- Testimony about Tree of Life
Matter of choice
Life is precious. We desire to live long and healthy. We want our parents to live long. Is this possible? Are these elusive desires?
No. All this is a matter of choice. A choice we make, a decision to take. A life to live following the decision we make. Thus, our decisions and the decision fulfilling life we life will either take you on a path to a brief life. It can also take you on a journey to a long, very long wholesome and abundant life.
We can get an inheritance of abundant life, abundant and eternal life. The flip side is, if we do not make the choice when we have the opportunity to make a choice, we are choosing limited and a brief life or literally death.
Garden of Eden
In the Book of Genesis, in the Bible, we read about the garden of Eden. In this garden, God planted trees, every tree which was good to see, beautiful to see and bearing good fruits. In addition to these enormous varieties of trees, two trees were mentioned. These two trees were planted in the centre of the garden. One tree was the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. The 2nd tree was the Tree of Life.
The Lord God planted a garden to the east in Eden. He put the man there whom He had made. And the Lord God made to grow out of the ground every tree that is pleasing to the eyes and good for food. And He made the tree of life grow in the centre of the garden, and the tree of learning of good and bad. (Genesis 2: 8, 9)
God had intended much goodness for mankind, when he placed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. The trees were beautiful to see and yielded good fruits – as you can read in the above verse. Yet there was one instruction.
Without instruction there is no choice made. When we make the right choice each time the opportunity we have, we either choose abundant life, eternal life or death.
The instruction of the Lord to Adam was the freedom to eat from every tree in the garden. Only from one tree, Adam was asked not to eat from. In the whole garden, Adam was asked to abstain from eating from only one tree. We do not know if Adam did eat from all the wide range of trees he was given freedom to eat from. Since the garden was huge, since the variety of trees was huge, it’s most likely that Adam did not eat from all the trees.
There are so many good trees that are beautiful in sight and bearing good fruits in the garden of the life we have. Are we making an intentional effort to obey this part of the instruction? There are so many good people around us. Are we thanking the Lord for placing each person around us. The Lord has lessons to teach from every kind of person whom he has placed around our lives. Only when we ask Him, will our eyes of understanding open are we able to see the beauty the Lord has placed in them, the fruit he has placed in them meant for us.
Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work the ground and care for it. The Lord God told the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden. But do not eat from the tree of learning of good and bad. For the day you eat from it, you will die for sure.” (Genesis 2: 15,16, 17)
We have a kitten and a large garden. We have various toys for the kitten, she is called Simba. She is given all the tender love and affection. Simba is given the choicest kitten feed. She relishes it well. The stray cats in the neighbourhood pass by and relish the crumbs of kitten feed from the nearly empty packs. Yet every fortnight, Simba climbs the tree and gets trapped in the highest trunk and branches of the tree. Each time the crisis happens, we call the rescue team who climb the compound wall, unsafe ladders to rescue the kitten. The only instruction for the kitten is not to climb the large lush green Neem tree. She is delightful and follows instruction, but this occasional disobedience keeps happening. Will she learn to obey instructions for her safety, for her goodness?
The tree of life in the Proverbs
3a) A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)
What you speak can be a tree of life for the people you come across in your daily life, when you choose to use soothing words. Since you desire to change, you can choose to be thoughtful and careful with the words you speak. Desiring to be a tree of life, desire to speak words, knowing that they can potentially be a tree of life. The other way is to keep thinking how you can encourage and build up the people around you. When you keep thinking of sowing goodness into the life of others, keep doing this as a discipline as a practice, only soothing words will come out of your mouth.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
You can also choose to give your ear to people who speak soothing words. This will enable you to receive from the tree of Life God has placed around you. On the contrary, by choosing to give your ear to people who speak unwholesome words implies the opposite.
3b) Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)
Having desires is important. Desires can be on an extremely wide range of matters. When a desire is satisfied it’s a tree of life.
My mother-in-law has been staying with us for over a year. She was given an assignment to list desires of her life and to share them with us the next day. The process continued for a few weeks. Many of these desires were great ones, but these would come typically into fulfilment only once in a year, in a couple of years typically.
So we made a shift, remembering what a dear friend spoke when he met another dear friend in Sri Lanka. This person was not well for a long time and was not able to move for a long time, but matters changed, he was able to have a bath every day for the last two days. He had just had a bath some time before my friend met him. This friend in Colombo told him with great joy how glad he was to be able to have a bath. This daily routine of many was not allowed for him for a long time due to reasons associated with his ill health.
Remembering this, we thought, not to take anything for granted. Right from the breath of life, being able to walk, run, eat, go to the loo, be able to read, pray, write, the list goes on. During these periods of isolation, lock down, pandemic, we are reminded that socialising is not to be taken for granted. Being able to meet with friends and family is not a default. Each and everything gives us much joy.
Daily list of desires
Thus was birthed the list of daily desires. Desires which can get fulfilled daily. We know for certain that an accident on the road or even at home, a sudden medical emergency can happen to anyone. Why not value all what we are able to enjoy as a daily routine, why not put these in our daily desire list. And when we get to fulfil these desires, we can receive from the tree of life. As we have desires fulfilled we receive from the tree of life.
Testimony about Tree of Life
Mummy is a great self-driven person, more often like a general, who gets things done in no time. But in completing assignments, she carries on with the habit which she nurtured in school, trying to have excuses not to complete them or only partly do them. As days went by her assignment became bigger. The other day she was to list out verbally 50 desires which were fulfilled since that morning. Over 15 to 20 minutes she shared over 60 desires satisfied during the course of the day. As a family we gave her a standing ovation.
Next day early morning, she was on her pathway to water the garden. We enjoy the music of heaven when the birds sing. But today I received yet another treat. A treat of an energetic, enthusiastic Good Morning from Mummy. In the past 500 days, I have never received such an enthusiastic greeting from her. We attribute it to her receiving from the tree of life even as she identified the more than 60 instances of desire satisfied the last evening.
The other two verses from the Book of Proverbs which points to the Tree of Life are
3c) How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels;
And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast.(Proverbs 3:13-18)
3d) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls. (Proverbs 11:30)
Have an abundant life.
In the coming weeks, more blog posts about the tree of life would be published.
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