I love everything about this number: 2020.
- it rolls off the tongue nicely
- has a sweet staccato ring to it
- holds the promise of many hopeful tomorrows
- makes a bold statement that leaves me with an anticipatory brightness...
...a new sunshine in my spirit
I began the day quite early and am enjoying some Jesus-and-me-time before the rest of the house awakes and we are off and running to make the best of day #2 (daughter, Steph is here with three grand-treasures, the two grand-pups, and a girl-friend of my oldest grand-son).
My fake fireplace is crackling.
The fake candles are burning.
I'm snuggled under my fun, warm fleecy blanket.
Perfect way to begin...
...or, so I thought, until...
I read this:
"Cain left the presence of God and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden (Genesis 4:16)."
This one little sentence shattered my quiet with one short question.
"Why would anyone choose to leave the presence of God?"
Cain wasn't forced to leave.
God's punishment for the first recorded murder was that the ground Cain worked would be cursed...and, while he would wander to try and find fertile soil, nothing was said about being banned from the presence of the Lord.
Cain chose to move to Nod.
Staying near to the Lord meant he might have to own up to his sinful anger, green-eyed jealousy, wrongful vengeance, and earlier doubt of God's instructions.
However, Cain never confesses.
When given a chance to right his wrong, he simply gets snarky with God, "How should I know where my brother is? Am I his keeper?"
Dear boy...he falls into the same sequence of sin as his dad and mom:
- he doubts God
- he rationalizes his sin
- he denies any fault
- and, he blame-shifts
No confession (guilt and shame, definitely, but not a word of godly sorrow).
So, no cure.
Only a curse.
Cain decided to pursue his own penance.
He departed from God's presence...and wandered away to the land of Nod.
Appropriate place for one to settle when they decide to hide from the Almighty.
Nod means "vacant land."
The Message paraphrase sums it up perfectly, Cain moved to "No-Man's-Land."
Often, this is exactly what we do when we sin: we isolate.
Someone once told me, "we will never experience change in isolation."
They were right.
Instead of pursuing the Lord, Cain pushed Him away.
What a great lesson for a New Year...and for this quiet morning.
Every New Year should begin with a renewed intent to pursue the Almighty with greater fervency than the year before.
New chapters in the story God is writing on our life.
A fresh page, where we can record how God's Great Presence
shows up in our world
to surprise us with snippets of His glory.
But, that page can't be turned
and the new chapter can't begin to be written
until I do what Cain could not.
New beginnings, fresh starts always begin with confession, and a cleansing from all unrighteous.
to explode all over the pages of my story!
What a blessed way to begin my morning...
It's still early in 2020 - how about you?