Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)
- TITLE: As Far as We were Concerned....
By Ernest Yoder
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As far as we were concerned – I’m talking about us, people, Homo sapiens – we didn’t have a leg to stand on. Life suddenly had a depressed, deserted element to it that was not there before. The taste of the delightfully attractive fruit had turned bitter in our mouths and sour in our stomachs. We furtively turned away from the smirking figure of what had been a strikingly beautiful creature, a creature that had so deceived us. Now its slinking beauty was tarnished and its appearance repulsive.
As far as we were concerned we had to do something. This empty vacant sensation in our stomachs had to be eliminated. We felt so naked and vulnerable. We were desperate. We found a tree, yes a tree again, a fig tree this time, plucked some of its leaves and did the best we could, sewing them together with some vines to hide our nakedness.
As far as we were concerned nothing we did assuaged the empty vacant feeling in the pits of our stomachs. For the first time in our brief existence we humans, in the forms of Adam and Eve, discovered the condemning sense of guilt. One of us blamed the other. We hid in the bushes. We hid from our Creator. For some reason we did not wish to face Him at all.
As far as we were concerned we were done for. The care free times of sweet innocence were over. Whatever we did from here on would came up short in our efforts to recapture our lives as they were before. We wanted each other and at the same time we did not want each other. We wanted God and at the same time we dreaded to face Him.
As far as we were concerned we had been deceived. We had been promised great benefits and a life that would be like God’s. What a let down! It was not that way at all. We, Adam and Eve, and us, their descendants, felt like there was nothing we could do, and indeed there wasn’t. We had lost the most precious thing available to us, a relationship with our Creator.
For years we tried following a law, a good law. But that was precisely part of the problem because we were bad to the bone and not capable of perfectly obeying a good law. Our sacrifices gave us some hope. But we always came up with more that needed to be done. Life was a constant struggle to measure up and we always came up short. As far as we were concerned we had gotten the short end of the stick and could not get rid of it. But thank God it was not only, “as far as we were concerned.” It was also God’s concern. A concern borne of pure love. In fact, as it turned out, it was even more of a concern to Him than it was to us.
A Man appeared on the scene. He was, and is, a most remarkable Man. He was God in us. God in Homo sapiens. God that we could touch. God Who could die. His name is Jesus. It so turned out “that while we were still sinners, (He) died for us.” (Ro.5:8, NKJV) What an amazing accomplishment, a glorious deliverance. He willingly took the consequences of what the short end of the stick meant for us and gave us the long end back, i.e., the victory if we humbly receive it. He did it in the face of that slinking old serpent, the devil, exasperating him in utter defeat. The long end of the stick He gave back to us bridged the gap that separated us from Him and restored the relationship with the Creator we so naively spurned in the garden. I can only describe the long end of the stick as nothing other than the cross.
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