As we enter into the thanksgiving season, what is it that is keeping you from being thankful? For some, the answer to that question is that they have experienced some type of loss. For those who have lost loved ones during the holidays, this can make for an extremely difficult time. This is completely understandable. Whether it is one or multiple things, I think we would all agree that there are times when it is seemingly difficult to find reasons to be thankful. All it takes is for one thing in our lives to not be as it should, and this can cause us to lose our sense of gratitude.
In Genesis 2 & 3 we find that Adam and Eve had it made in the Garden of Eden….yet even in the midst of this beautiful paradise there was just one thing that was not as it should be…
We read in Genesis 2:15-17:
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
The one thing in the garden that was not as it should be was a tree that they were not allowed to take and eat fruit from. Never mind that they had access to every other tree in this beautiful garden. This one thing that they were missing occupied their minds and consumed their attention. Oh, if this one thing were as it should be, then maybe I could be thankful….so they thought.
Let’s pause to reflect. Everything was perfect, right, and beautiful. Just one small detail was off. This one thing though, opened the door for the tempter to come along and trip up Adam and Eve.
We continue reading in Genesis 3:1-7:
1Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Don’t let the tempter rob you of your joy and thanksgiving by causing you to focus on what is wrong to the exclusion of the many things that are right in your life! This is called distortion. When our view of life is distorted, we can say that we have lost our right perspective.
In the garden there were two different perspectives. One was true, the other a lie. While it was true that God had blessed Adam and Eve to live in a beautiful garden with a loving restriction to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it was untrue that all of Adam’s and Eve’s happiness was tied up in their ability to eat from the forbidden tree. No, the exact opposite was true. God was “protecting” Adam and Eve by restricting access to this forbidden tree.
Godly perspective causes us to focus on all that is right in our life…..the enemy causes us to obsess over that one thing that is wrong…..
Let us resolve this Thanksgiving to be people who do not allow “that one thing” to rob us of our spirit of thanksgiving and joy!