Finally, At Long Last
Genesis 2:22-23 (ESV)
22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
The stage was set, I was in K-town; the night was young, I was at the cusp of hearing ill news. I removed myself from the phone call, deciding in my heart who I would become. He did not know, but in his pain, he let his anguish dictate his future. As Anakin Skywalker would address Palpatine as “master”, so I let loose the chains of all my Christian upbringing and embraced all that the world had to offer.
I believed that I was at the apex of my youth. I had just begun by studies in one of the most prestigious business schools in the US, if not the world. The freshmen keynote speaker had led me to believe that I was to be one of the next leaders of this bright world. What did I have to lose, but only the chains of my past. Pain? Weakness.
And so as Nietzsche wrote “On the Genealogy of Morality”, I embraced the idea of being the eagle: by the laws of nature; as is his right, the eagle can eat the lamb. If beauty, strength, riches, and power are desirable, how can exercising one’s natural instincts be evil? That foolish boy, he drowned himself in that tonic.
With each passing day, my goals were to organize my friends in the name of “having a good time”. I gladly took on that task. No, I led the charge. Do you hear the hammer? It clings to the nail.
Years would pass, though I would not admit my condition, I had only numbed the pain that I so gladly tried to forget. The usual nights no longer satisfied. “How long”, I exclaimed, “will I continue to live like this?” I had attained all that I desired: material wealth, fleshly desires, prestige, and glory, yet life, frustratingly, no longer seemed to deliver.
Still, in this dark world, by the grace that was undeserved, God would send a light: friends would call me into a new life. I had no desire for this new direction. But I was sick of my old one, so I followed.
God used this time in my life to separate myself from temptations and people of influence. He drew me closer to Him as I pondered the purpose of my existence. All my life, I strove to be known, to be accepted, to be desired by the standards of this world. But He would say “You do not need to try anymore, you are okay.”
Here was my watershed moment. Instantly I saw the loving God I had only heard of in my adolescence. Instantly was all my guilt and shame exposed. I was paralyzed in the madness that followed: He poured out His grace and mercy, He magnified His love, and declared that all was finished. Every act of rebellion, He took. The hammer clinged, the nail thrust, blood was spilled, but His grace was louder.
I agonized over this grace. I lived in the wretches of this world looking head down only at the glorified mud pies. Though He beckoned I come, I cared not to listen. At what cost would I turn? At the price of His Son? Though I had no desire for Him, He snatched me from the depths of hell. My head looked up, I saw glory as last, not of my own, but of Him who is Holy. I was exposed before His presence; I had no right to live: "Crucify me for I am a wretched man!" "No", He would respond for He bore my sins on Calvary. What more wonders can I say? Shall I expound on the mountains He had moved, or the broken relationships He had mended? There is so much more to the riches and depths of His grace!
At last, at long last, I saw His majesty. Could I deny Him? Impossible, who can deny this; what else stands in comparison!
Adam would wander the perfect world that God had created in the Garden of Eden. Yet, while walking alone among the creatures, even though he was in full communion with God, Adam would feel alone. In response to this, God would create Eve out of Adam’s ribs resulting in Adam’s beautiful soliloquy: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…” “At last”, he exclaimed upon his deliverance, at last indeed.
For Your Reflection
The greatest joy that I received was the sovereign mercy of God. While my eyes and heart were never inclined to Him, He somehow led me to Himself. I did not try to seek out my salvation; I actually did not even believe such a thing was needed. Rather, I simply lived. But somehow, some way, the Lord brought me back to Him. I say these words to give hope for those who seem hopeless. Our entire framework of existence revolves around effort and reward. Yet, God freely gave His grace and mercy. Then how shall we respond to those who do not know Him? In like kind, with grace and mercy. Grace, how sweet is your sound!