Read Genesis 2:1-9
The Christian creation account is unique among creation stories in some significant ways. One of those is its high esteem for humanity and our role and worth within creation. The story establishes the reality that God desires and initially has an intimate relationship with his creatures and his created world. As beings created in His image, we don't need to look to Adam and Eve to see that we are relational creatures, we can look at ourselves. Even though most would agree that we all tend towards selfishness, we still long for relationship. We long to not only be loved but to love in return. It is who we are because it is who He is.
Sometimes we forget this imprint of God left on our being. We ignore it and push it down, back into the deep recesses of our hearts from where it came. We run from it. But it is a central part of us. And it bubbles back up from time to time to remind us of who we are and from where we came. When God created us, He marked us with His image because we were meant to be like Him. We were made to love.
When humanity left Him, He did not leave us, and this is the Gospel, God who is love has not given up on us. Instead, He relentlessly pursues us. As Christians, two main events assure us of this: the incarnation, and Pentecost. These two doctrines provide a foundation for how we see the world and our mission in it.
The incarnation puts on display a Creator who longs to restore His relationship with us so much that He enters into and becomes a part of His creation. He follows His heart's pursuit even into the grave. He does not back down or shy away. He pursues us into death to bring us back from death. This is Jesus, the Son of God, the second person of the Triune God Christians worship.
Pentecost, on the other hand, proves that God's pursuit was not in vain. Pentecost is the day God gave His people His indwelling Spirit, the third person of this Triune God. So that those of us in Christ, in this moment right now, have the very presence of God supernaturally and mystically residing within us and giving life to our otherwise dead and dying hearts. Pentecost shows us how He longs to be near us even today. That Jesus' death and resurrection was not the end, but the beginning.
These profound Christian beliefs stem from the God who formed and fashioned, Adam and Eve, Man and Woman. In the same way he breathed life into them; He breathes life into us. In the same way he did not abandon them to inherit death and separation forever; He has not abandoned us. These are teachings of love from a God of love, and they tell us a story of who we are. We are valued, and we are not alone.
In our brokenness and the brokenness of the world, we can lose sight of God's love. We can lose the sense of His presence. Our hearts can become so beat up and jaded that we abandon our belief in God, His presence, or His goodness. But He does not leave His people, and His Spirit continues to work within our hearts, to bind them, and bring life back to them, to transform them and us. Cling to this truth today. Cling to the fact that God loves you so much that he has not and will not abandon you. He is present with you now by way of His Spirit.
Let's live into this today:
How do you doubt God's presence or His intentions towards you? Where does this doubt originate? What is the relationship between the cause of your doubt and that which God has promised to save you from one day (namely sin and death; brokenness and shame)?
In your personal history, what has God done to show you that He is present and that He cares for you? As you remember this, what does it stir in your heart?
Despite your doubts, questions, and fears, I want to encourage you to believe that the above is actually true. Believe that God does really value and care for you and that He is currently residing within you until the day you can be in His physical presence. Take a moment to let these two beliefs seep into your heart
Respond to God in prayer. Thank Him, be angry with Him, worship Him, and then ask Him to be near to you and to help you believe this more each day.