Read: Genesis 3
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden.”
Why am I having such a difficult time? You might be asking. I seem to end up choosing to throw myself in the dirt. I cannot hear one word of the Lord to guide me. He seems to be silent. Here is the simple answer. Concupiscence. That is just a fancy word for our tendency to sin; that veil of fog over our intellect, heart, and senses. Where and how and why did that happen? To show you the answer, let’s go back to the beginning. Adam and Eve are in the most beautiful of Gardens. God gifted them with His creation. He gave them dominion over the birds of the air and the fish under the sea, and the four legged creatures and all the plants. Most beautifully He gave them the gift of each other and they stood naked without shame. They loved purely and intimately each other through God. There is a beautiful picture in the Sistine chapel depicting this of God the Father holding Eve as he reaches out to Adam and and shows him the garden. It shows the beauty and benevolence that God has in store for him as Adam looks at each creature and they do not fit as a worthy companion.
But then something happened that would alter the course of their lives for them and their descendants. In one simple act of doubt of God’s free gift, man turned from Him. The serpent tricked them. “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Their pride was boosted way high. We will be like gods! Eve saw that the tree was good. It was a delight to the eyes; a teaser . She desired it to make her wise. God was, of course, holding something back by not allowing them to eat of it. They quickly forgot God’s gift of each other and all of creation. They closed their ears to His promises. And they chose to sin by falling prey to how delightful it was to eat of the “forbidden” fruit that looked and smelled delicious. It didn’t take much for them to forget, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. Neither should you touch it else you die.” They lost sight of everything they did have.
The temptation to pull into ourselves and forget God the Father's promise to us for intimacy is pretty strong. There is something in our hearts though that says, “Don't do it!” Heeding this voice of conscience and following it is a step toward the right thing. But sadly there is that pull to ignore the voice and choose the thing we know we shouldn't. With that comes shame. God calls to us for repentance and instead of answering honestly to his questions we hide from him. We choose to ignore his call for reconciliation and follow our own path. God could make it right the moment we turn to Him yet just as Adam and Eve we hide in the bushes and make for ourselves a loin cloth of fig leaves. We are naked before him and we act as though He can't see us. For a moment ponder on what you could have with God by saying simply and honestly, “Lord, at this moment I have chosen not to listen to your fatherly voice beckoning me. I have chose wrongly my Lord. Please forgive me.”
It is so simple for us to hold our emotions and old patterns of behavior and think, “God can't see this!” Yet He sees and perceives all things. The moment we put our hand to his and show Him the wound He can't resist reaching out to us and touching that place. He is looking for us to turn to Him and acknowledge all the pain we are holding in so that as a loving Father he can come in and fix it; to mend what is broken and give us new life. So that, he can accompany us and dwell with us.
Read: Mark 7:31-37
And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Eph'phatha,” that is “Be opened.” and his ears were opened, his tongue was released and he spoke plainly.
God takes us aside and privately speaks to us, resides with us, and reaches out His hand to heal us. He sets us apart from the others and says plainly, “Be opened.” The spiritual deafness and dumbness falls away. Our tongues are loosed and we are no longer hidden. Jesus spoke and commanded the crowd to say nothing and the more He said that the more they spoke. There is a time and a place for sharing the witness of what the Lord has done for you yet only when He says. It is as if we feel entitled to speak, yet God wants us to ponder silently on what He has done for us; what he has opened before us and also just space to heal and absorb what He has accomplished in us. He has set you apart for a particular calling; one that can only be found hidden in Him. Others will notice a change and approach you yet you do not need to speak until you rest securely in his promise and truly have given God the time to work on you. There is that time that only God wants to share with you. In time, you will be called upon to share your journey but only when you have been told and have found heavenly strength. If it is a close friend (like the person you are journeying through with this) he might be entitled for some details, but really only what you feel comfortable sharing. God does have some things only for you. Otherwise, it is nobodies business to know what happened.
We also see that Jesus looks up to heaven and in that gesture speaks to the Father with a glance that asks Him for healing for this man. It really does only take a glance to God, a deep sigh, for your petition to be heard and then comes the trust that He will open your heart with “Eph'phatha” and you will have healing. It is important to remember, though, that healing happens like the layers of an onion. He will only heal the part that is ready. Sometimes one layer has to be healed before digging any deeper to another area. Deep healing takes time.