“What if my greatest disappointments – and the aching of this life – are the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?” – Laura Story
The world is broken. We know that. Watching the first five minutes of the evening newscast will convince even the most optimistic person that things in this world are not going well.
It’s been that way for around 6,000 years now. And that’s where most of us focus. We live in the world between Genesis 3 and Revelation 20. But that’s not God’s original plan for Creation, and He’s not going to leave it that way. He’s been working to put it back together since the moment it became broken.
When God finished Creation and said, “It is good,” His intention was to walk in relationship with Humanity. Genesis 3 says that God, Himself, used to walk in the Garden with Adam and Eve. There’s a picture in every Hebrew word and the picture in the Hebrew word translated here – “halak” – is one of relational intimacy. Imagine God coming down in physical form, putting one arm around Adam, and the other around Eve, and walking through the Garden asking them, “How was your day?” That’s what God created us for.
But that was “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” We look at that as being so long ago that it’s not even real. But it is. And it’s what God is working to restore. His desire is for us return to Eden.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
Our Western mindset makes it difficult for us to understand time the way God does. We see everything moving forward, with eternity – Heaven – at the end. It’s a straight line. But that isn’t God’s view of time.
His view of time has no beginning or end. There is no straight line leading to Heaven. Humanity existed in eternity already. But we walked away from it. By choice, we got off track. What we know as “time” or “history” is simply God guiding us back to the place we were before we screwed up.
I’ve seen this happen in my own life time and time again. I’m heading down God’s path, and then I make a choice that eventually leads me to realize that I have messed things up big time. My life becomes broken. So what does God do? He brings me full circle to where I was when I made the wrong choice. He takes my right back to where I was and says, “Let’s try this again.”
And that’s what God is doing right now. He’s bringing us full-circle. He’s returning us to Eden. But to see that in what we know as “history,” we’ve got to understand God’s shadow pictures of good things to come. We’ve got to see how God has communicated His plan to us. We have to look in the shadows.