The last week of March and first week of April I was laid up in bed, on narcotics, recovering from surgery. I must have been more pliant than usual in this state because the Lord took the opportunity to work on some painful places in my soul - feelings and false beliefs which began forming in early childhood. Below is a conversation I had with my Father one day as I lay in bed.
"Amy, what other sins did you commit in your childhood?" (This was part two of a conversation begun a few days earlier. For the record, my first sin was stealing, but that is a different topic.)
"I lied," I responded.
"Yes, but you did not lie to manipulate or get your own way. Why did you lie?"
"I lied when I was afraid or ashamed."
"And why is lying evil?"
"Because it is contrary to Your nature."
"And what is My nature?"
"Your nature is love."
As soon as I said those words, I realized how much I was like Eve. At a very early age, I also heard the voice of the Accuser suggesting that perhaps God was not as good and loving as He claimed to be. Maybe He was holding out on us. Maybe there was really nothing wrong with forbidden pleasures. So I tried them. I stole a toy, or hid a cookie and then felt awful, like Eve.
"When I felt ashamed, I tried to hide by lying," I continued.
"Yes," our Father responded. Then He surprised me, as He always does in these conversations. "But not all hiding is lying. "When you make treasure hunts for your children, you hide their presents and then give them clues. Is that lying?"
"No, because my intent is always to give them the gift. I just want to do it in a way that is special and meaningful for them."
At that point the "verbal" part of our conversation ended, but I felt a download of revelation in my spirit. I understood that God's intent is to reveal everything to His Beloved. Our Father greatly desires to be known! This is why we were created - to share union with Him. This is why Jesus came to us - to reveal the Father. God will not withhold anything from us, but He waits to reveal Himself until we are ready, until we are eager, until we are mature enough to understand.
Verses like these, which always seemed to good to be true, rang with new truth and hope and joy in my soul.
"I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,." Eph. 1:3
"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.....we have the mind of Christ." I Cor. 2:12, 16
I believe God's intent was always, ultimately, to share with us the tree of knowledge. But we ate prematurely, before we could control ourselves, before we were fully convinced of the Father's goodness and love and wisdom. Knowledge without love, without the redemption of the cross or the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, makes us warped and broken. So God in His love, hid the tree of life, not permanently, but until we were healed and transformed into the likeness of Christ, until living forever would be a blessing and not a curse.
What a beautiful, complete story - what a gift we have in scripture! The tragic story recorded in Genesis resolves with glory in John's Revelation. The very last book in the Bible tells us what happens to the tree of life.
"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads." Rev. 22:1-4
Truly God is a Lover who will withhold nothing from His Beloved!