What was it like for Adam when he was in the garden?
He had everything he needed. All the fruits of the earth, all the animals were his. He had a job that was significant and important, appointed by God Himself. He chose the names of the animals. He had dominion over the earth. He was the gatekeeper, the guardian, the protector.
And if all this wasn’t enough, to have everything provided and be given a place of importance in creation, Adam lived with God Himself. He walked the land, examined the trees, he oversaw everything alongside his Father. There was nothing separating him from God, for God truly dwelt in his midst.
And yet. And yet. Adam longed for more.
What must that conversation have been like, for Adam to admit to the living God, Whom he loved as perfectly as man is capable, to Whom he was so grateful for all He had done and with Whom he had the joy of dwelling, that he wasn’t satisfied? That he wanted more?
I imagine Adam walking beside Him, carefully pondering what to say. There’s an ache in his heart, but he can’t articulate it. There’s a longing, but he can’t quite describe it. Quietly he tells all of this to his God, Who listens intently and with great understanding.
“Father, thank You for being with me. Thank You for giving me everything I need, for giving me a place, a mission, and for being my companion. I am so grateful for all of it, and I take nothing for granted. But, Father, there’s something more. I don’t know how to describe it, but there’s this ache inside me. Something’s not right. Something’s missing. I don’t know what. I can’t place it. But I can tell there’s more still than what we have now. Please, I don’t understand. Do You know what this is? Do You know what this is about? I just… feel it. I just feel it, and I can’t describe it, and I don’t know what to do about it. My Lord God, what do I do?”
“My son” the Lord replies, “I do know what this is. I know exactly what you need. But in order to give it to you, I need you to trust Me. Can you do that?”
“Yes, Father. Of course I trust You.”
And gently, quietly, the Lord put His son into a deep sleep. Perhaps Adam even slept for a very long time. And all that time, God went to work, creating for him that which he needed most.
Lately, my own heart has had an indescribable ache. I come to the Lord and I pray, and it is so hard. We sit together in my sadness, and I cry sometimes, because I know that there is more for me than now. Even though now is good, and I am happy. My life is full and beautiful and rich in joy. I have a good job, loving family and friends. I am working towards a mission and ministry of my heart that the Lord has been giving to me for a long time. There is so much to be thankful for, and I am grateful with all my heart.
And yet. And yet. My heart is longing for more.
Like Adam, I sit with God in the solitude of my heart. I tell Him what I’m feeling, and I even tell Him that I don’t really understand what I’m feeling. He sits with me and waits with me, patiently listening and gently loving. Though this is a sad and hard place to be, I have never felt so close to Him or felt so keenly that He understands. There is no answer. There is no solution. There is only Him and me, walking the garden alone.
And maybe there doesn’t need to be a solution. Perhaps this longing of mine, and the longing of Adam, found in the midst of a full and beautiful life, doesn’t mean that anything is wrong, or that anything is missing after all. Maybe it’s simply an invitation to come a little closer, to lean a little harder, on the heart of God. However this longing is answered, whether it be with obtaining its supposed object or simply with enjoying a quiet walk with our Creator, it will be enough.
My friend, if you listen, what will you find waiting in the silence of your hearts? Is the Lord inviting you to come and walk the garden with Him? To tell Him your ache that you can’t quite articulate and trust Him to answer it?
I know it sounds scary. But there is new intimacy to be found in this place. A chance bring your God close to your heart. A chance to call Him Dad. A chance to learn that He is safe, and that in spite of everything you thought your knew, He has always been safe.
Please, my friend, will you let God walk with you? He is waiting for you, in the garden.