When I married Kristy in 2004, we gave each other beautiful wedding bands. I still remember going to Benny’s Jewelers in Atlanta and selecting her engagement ring just prior to Thanksgiving 2003 and then going back with her a few months later so that we could pick out our bands. Mine was a beautiful eternity band with seven diamonds around it. I wore it each day so proudly! I was thrilled to be married and I imagined many happy years wearing the ring that my sweet wife gave me on the unforgettable day of our wedding. I loved the diamonds encircling the wedding band as it communicated the unending, continual love I had pledged to Kristy.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2010. Our house had been burglarized the day before Thanksgiving and the weekend after Thanksgiving I lost my treasured wedding ring. I just couldn’t find it anywhere. I turned our house upside down. I went back to every store and restaurant I had been to that weekend. I was determined to recover my ring. For weeks, I didn’t wear anything on my hand because I just knew that I would find my ring. I never did. But, my desire to find my ring has never diminished. Each day I think about it when I put on my “replacement ring”—a very simple band that has no sentimental value for me. In fact, while cleaning out the car last weekend, I secretly hoped that I would find it lodged underneath a long lost chicken nugget in the back seat! Truth is—I’m still not over it!
Can you relate?
Have you ever lost something or someone before you were ready to?
Have you ever had to say goodbye to a good season in life before you wanted to?
If you have, then I believe you have known—in an infinitely diluted way—the way God feels about the relationship He once had and lost with mankind. Adam and Eve and God enjoyed unhindered intimacy and fellowship in the Garden of Eden. Those were the happiest of times for Adam and Eve and God greatly delighted in them as well. When His enemy deceived Eve and when Adam sat passively by and disobeyed God, Adam and Eve not only broke God’s law—in a sense they also broke God’s heart.
From that fateful conversation recorded in Genesis 3 all the way through the last page of the book of the Revelation, there is a crimson thread of redemption. It’s God’s way of saying, “I’m not over it!”
And I’m so glad that He’s not! Salvation is possible because God longs for it. What was best in us died when our representative and first father, Adam ate of the tree and so declared independence from God. We don’t want God apart from God giving us the grace to want Him. So then, how great must He be that He would overlook our many offenses to show us the kindness of the cross.
Exodus 25-26 describes God’s outline of the Tabernacle and its furnishings to Moses. While looking at that this week, I learned that many of the symbols of the tabernacle are a token or reminder of the Garden of Eden (more on that here).
As I read that, I thought to myself, “God never got over what happened in the Garden.” Now, I don’t mean to say that God is somehow emotionally weak or incapable of moving on. Quite the contrary, He, unlike us, has complete control over what He will or will not remember. For God to “not get over it” is a great benefit to mankind because it paved the way for us to be reconciled to Him. As the psalmist said in Psalm 8:4, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”
Relationally, I thought about how quickly we like to move on when someone crosses us. Do we seek reconciliation before we cut people off? Are we willing to love them through their weaknesses and shortcomings? Or, do we just say, “You crossed me. I’m through with you. I’m over it.”
Thankfully God said, “I’m not over it.”