Thursday, January 1, 2009

Content where God has Planted

"The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed" (Genesis 2:8)

Upon reading these words today it struck me for the first time that there were actually 2 plantings spoken of in this text. I had always noticed the first one, the obvious one. God planted a garden...and what a garden it must have been! But there is a second "planting" of sorts referred to in these words when we read "there He put the man."

God planted Adam as well. Isn't that interesting? The Lord had just finished creating the whole universe. The world was dressed in unfallen splendor. All creation bore the unblemished inscription of an Infinite and Wise Creator. And yet, rather than calling Adam to holy adventures He instead confines him, as it were, to a handful of acres. Rather than telling him "Go climb the mountains and cross the sea" He says instead "Stay here, mow the lawn and cultivate the soil."

I know that much more was going on as well. Our federal head was being put to the test and the entire scope of God's redemptive purposes were soon to unfold. Nevertheless, it seems remarkable and worthy of some reflection that God planted Adam...and called him to work within given boundaries in spite of unlimited opportunities all around.

Here is the question: Am I content to produce within the field that God has planted me in? I think there is an underlying message here. Man is most fruitful when he serves within the circle which the Lord has assigned to him. This means working with the gifts God has given me, and not wishing for what I do not have. This means contentment with my present circumstances, and not looking over the fences of my "Eden" into other potentially fruitful fields. This means believing that all I need to glorify God and serve Him faithfully is fully provided for me already, right where I am. This means that my present trials are not primarily intended for my "escaping" but for my "improving" through obedient perseverance.

God planted Adam in Eden. Where has He planted you or I? Today it is so easy to think of "moving" and "escaping" and "changing" to get out of our previous commitments and promises. We use so many excuses. Oh my soul, the Great Gardner makes no mistakes while sowing His saints, "and there He put the man whom He had formed." Do not miss the message of this planting. Contentment with godliness is great gain.

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