I have found myself, in the last few weeks, stumbling over myself. Have you ever done that? It’s as if your shoe’s laces are perpetually untied and you can not help but trip on yourself.
That has been me the last few weeks. Completely unintentional, but still face down I find myself.
Well it would seem I have been trying to be God.
You can laugh. I did. Although I had to suffer through tears, and some bruises before I got to the laughing point. The laughing came in at the moment where God pulled a Job moment on me. You know, Job? The guy who questioned God, and God came back with an answer to shut up the loudest mouth, “Where were you when I put teeth in the Alligator?” That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is the way God shows Himself to be God.
Let me rewind a little to get you all caught up.
Over the last few weeks, I have found myself to be setting people up to fail. I have been disappointed in people, frustrated with people, and even angry at people for not living up to their word, not doing what they said they would, and for being down right dumb humans.
Now, I am sorry if you are reading this and thinking that this is harsh. But, Doll, this is being real.
I have been broken over the heart condition of people who say they love Jesus, but choose to live as if they have never heard His name.
I have put it on my own shoulders to right their wrongs, to put on my Wonder Woman cape and fly to the rescue of each individual who needs my help. Even if it was not asked for. I have heard the cries of my people and I will come and heal their land… Sound familiar?
I have gotten my priorities kinda, a little, screwed up.
Okay, a lot screwed up.
Somehow, without me knowing it, I began to become as god to those who I thought needed me. Somewhere along the way, I began to shift. I began to fall prey to the Eden Trap!
I wish I could insert some POW!! or BANG!! comic book symbols to really give you the feel of what has happened.
The same trap that our parents Adam and Eve fell for, the wanting to be like God, I, too, have fallen into. Except, no serpent came to me and showed me an apple, no, it was much worse than that. I fell into the Eden Trap, head first, all on my own.
I was running after those who I thought needed to be brought back into the “light” and all the while I ran myself into my very own Eden Trap.
For those of you that don’t know what the Eden Trap is, let me explain. In Eden, the Garden that God created for Adam and Eve, where they could have everything they wanted and more as long as they didn’t eat from the Tree of Good and Evil, there was a day that Eve was out for a stroll, and who does she happen to come across? A sly little serpent that tells her a lie, and she falls for the first ever Eden Trap. The serpent tells Eve that she will be like God if she eats from the one tree God told her not to, the Tree of Good and Evil. She eats from the tree, and not only that but she drags Adam into it too.
The Eden Trap is believing the lie that you can be like God.
There are many different versions of this trap everywhere around the world, but for me the trap was set so subtly and I fell into it head first. My version of the trap was my attempt to be peoples savior. To be to them as only God can be. To be a fix it, a cure, their redemption, and ultimately their saving grace.
My Eden Trap was something I did not look for, and one that I had built with my own two hands.
I can’t say that a serpent came to me, I can’t even say that there was anyone behind my trap, except for me.
I laid the trap.
I built it, and I dug the hole.
Maybe, I was in the trap the whole time, digging myself in, and not even seeing what I was doing.
I had begun to look at myself as though I was capable of saving people. That me, Andrea, could do what only God is capable of. How sad.
With falling into my own version of The Eden Trap, I began to set limits on God. Not only on God but on people, everyone, even myself.
My limit making was not for anyones good, either. It was for control. I made limits for those who fell short. I had limits for those who measured up. I even had limits for those who, to me were, limitless. I had begun to box people in, set people on a pedestal, and make people into God.
There is not one person on this earth that can measure up to the God who made the ocean. The God who put the stars in the heavens, and the God who called man to be. That God is limitless.
Yet, sadly, I had begun to compare myself to God, people to God, even God to the God of my head.
Please note: God has since corrected my thinking. Thank you, Jesus!!!
When we get into comparing people against people, and people against God, every one fails. Never, not one time, can good come from this. Never can a person measure up to the God of the universe. Oh wait, one can, Jesus!
Never can people stand up under the pressure of comparing. Without even knowing it, people will fail. We are fallible humans. We mess up. It’s just the way we are wired. God is God and we are not. It’s just the way it is.
Anytime comparing comes into the game, we have already lost. Why? Because with comparing we cease to allow for God’s fingerprint on the individual. We stop people from being unique and being the image-bearer of God.
Each one of us on earth bear the image of God.
Being an image bearer is being fully human, in all our failures, and all of our victories.
Wearing the image of God is the one thing we do with no effort.
When a baby is born, there is not a moment where we question if the image of God has been stamped on their face, it’s there, with no effort, shining forth the beauty of a limitless God.
We are born to bear the image of God.
Fully human, and fully a reflection of a God who made each of us to be part of His limitlessness.
When I found myself, face first in my Eden Trap, I realized I had lost sight of that exact thing. I had tried to control each limit, and make sure all fit into my controlled view, instead of allowing people to be fully human, bearing the image of God, and unique in their own qualities.
I had put people on pedestals, that had never been asked to be put up there, but up there they would sit, and then I would be disappointed when down they would fall. I would be shocked even, when people acted, well, like people. I was not allowing room for them to be fully human.
I was not accepting that people had limits.
I was expecting all people to be like God.
That was my Eden Trap.
I wanted people to be like God.
But only God is God.
How can a created being, be like an uncreated God?
That was the biggest limit I was placing on everyone around me. And even on myself.
To be like God.
How far I had fallen. From where I was sitting, it was a long way back up. That was when grace stepped in. Such a beautiful thing, grace. Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more!
God in His unlimited nature, came and swept me out of my Eden Trap, and placed my feet on solid ground again. He showed me how off base my thinking had got, and moreover He showed me that people, even those who do not want to, are the image of God. We all bear the image of God on our souls. When we run from God, it’s okay, we are still in His boundary, cause He has no limit. Not even time can hold Him.
And like that my Eden Trap was removed.
What a redeeming God we have. He reaches through time and space to get us, and bring us back to Him. To join us with Him, to have us at His side.
He is God.
He is limitless.
And nothing can keep Him from us. He has no limit.
I am sure this is not the last time The Eden Trap will bring me to my knees. My only hope is that I will not allow limits to determine a persons worth. That by bringing my Eden Trap out into the light I can shine a light on your own thinking, and maybe just maybe, you can find your way out of your own Eden Trap.
May you see through the eyes of the limitless God, and may you see fully human, fully beautiful image bearers of God. May you not set limits for yourself, or for God, and may you rejoice in the fact that we know a God who can not be bound, and has all of the universe in the palm of His hand. May you love with no limits today, and always!