Even Better Than Eden: Ch. 2, Tree, Reading Discussion
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this chapter! Please feel free to start or enter the conversation on this thread!
Last week, we were introduced to our very common experience of the wilderness—that dark, chaotic, and empty place that we all are familiar with in some form or other. We know all too well the hunger of wandering in the desert and the struggle in a broken world full of thorns that prick us.
Our natural response is to try to get out of that wilderness, to find the good life on our own terms, in our own way. We fail to see that God allows us to experience these hungers and thorns so that we might turn to Him.
This week, we talked about the theme of the tree—shorthand for the idea of choice. The longing for a better life is very human. But what is that better life? Is it simply a life free of deserts and thorns? Or is it a life that not only sees the wilderness as God’s means of extending grace but chooses to trust God that the good life can be found in the midst of it?
The Apostle Paul says in Phil. 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” If I am honest, I don’t know if I can say that. In what ways have you and I pursued the good life apart from Christ? We often focus on the loss and sacrifice of smaller temporary things that might come with choosing God’s way instead of the greater gains. We have a skewed perspective of the exchange. How might this thought, combined with Phil. 1:21 shift your thinking in the right direction?
Nancy framed this chapter with the story of Eric and Abby Brown and their family. At the end of the chapter, she shares Eric’s insights from a friend that he shared on his Instagram account, about how his trials are actually “compliments of the chef”—the best He has to offer, lovingly crafted and served to us.
Do we see the tests and trials that God allows in our life as “compliments of the chef”? How might they give us a taste of the good life to come when we obey? Think back to times when you have chosen that hard road that looks like death but leads to life. How can these moments actually be translated in our perspective as God’s blessing instead of His curse? How might that change how you move through your days?
One last thing: For me, I had a hard time understanding how God can do better than perfect. Apparently, I know very little about my God. Yet this is who He is. His greatness knows no bounds. Will I trust that His way, though it makes no sense to me will satisfy my hunger? Will I empty myself so that He can fill me with food that is far more delicious than anything the enemy has to offer?
Just some thoughts from the past couple of weeks on the reading.