orange tree

One of the wonderful benefits of retirement is having the time to do the things you really enjoy.  One of my greatest pleasures is taking care of my five year old twin granddaughters.

This past weekend we had beautiful weather and spent most of the time out back.  I enjoy gardening and the girls are learning to appreciate God’s creation in nature.  I allow them to pick certain small flowers and put them in vases.  The entire backyard is basically free for them to roam.  I have a strawberry plant that yielded one strawberry and that was a big edible treat.  Then there is the tomato plant with a small round grape tomato ready to eat that the other twin was allowed to pick and eat.

A dear friend, knowing my love of the garden, gave me a small orange tree.  I counted the tiny budding oranges and there were 7 buds about the size of a pea.  I explained to the twins that they could freely roam the entire garden but this one tree needed to be left alone.  I asked them not to pick this fruit because if they did it would kill the baby oranges before they even had a chance to grow.  I thought they understood.

Yesterday I checked the orange tree and noticed there were only three buds left on the orange tree.  So sad!  My first thought was “Why did they have to pick these buds when they had the whole garden to choose from?”  My second emotion was disappointment that they had chosen to disobey the one command I had asked of them.

That is when I had the moment of understanding of what the Lord experienced in the garden when Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the one tree He had specifically asked them not to eat.  He must have been so grieved in His heart.  I’m sure He went through some of the same emotions I went through only, of course, to a far greater degree because of His infinite knowledge and knowing that the consequences of their sin would infect the entire human race.  The “original sin” was not eating or touching – it was rebellion.   Adam and Eve deliberately chose to rebel against what God had commanded and despite having all the glories and delights of the Garden of Eden at their disposal, they were attracted to that one “forbidden” tree like a magnet.  Eve had already been enticed by the tree before the Snake ever entered the picture.

What a lesson that the “sin” nature is born into us.  We must be born again to remove the stain of sin and learn there are consequences.  Lord help us to put obedience to you above any carnal and earthly desire.


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