Did Adam Have a Belly Button?
You are in heaven. It's really really really cool, and before deciding to check out what video games are available, you notice a LONG line. Figuring out that it's not a bunch of people waiting to see Santa, you get curious. So you go up to the last person and inquire, "What's going on?"
"Oh, didn't you know? This is the question line."
"Right - question line. As in, the line to ask God a question. That's why it's so long, because there are a lot of people with a lot of questions that never got answered on earth."
You jump right in line, because you are thrilled that you finally get to answer that gnawing question that was the itch on your soul that you just couldn't quite get to. And of course that question is...
Well? What is it? Of course, only YOU can answer that one. I know some teens whose life will be complete when they finally learn the truth about Adam and his bellybutton. Then there are the deeper thinkers who wrestle with the whole big-rock-can-God-lift dilemma.
But my guess at the #1 question in most people's minds is the one about evil and suffering in the world. For some it's a philosophical thing, for others it is a day-to-day reality thing. Whichever thing it is for you, my guess is that it's one of the things you've sometimes puzzled in your puzzler.
I hate to disappoint you, but you are still going be waiting in line for this one, and I'll be right in line with you. But while we're waiting, let's pass the time with a little conversation:
"So Lane, Adam and the bellybutton?"
"No. Dirt and breath of God - remember? No cord, no bellybutton. No inny, no outty, just kinda freaky smoothie."
"OK - can God make a rock so big that He couldn't lift it?"
"Again, no. No deep reasoning powers needed here. The simple fact is that God isn't stupid - wouldn't you agree?"
"Yes - but now I think I have a better question. Wasn't it sort of 'stupid' to set up a world where Adam and Eve could sin?"
"Well, I know some people who see it that way, but let me ask you a question. Why are we able to even have this discussion?"
"Easy, because we want to - right?"
"Right - we actually have the freedom of will to choose things. And that is the answer to your question. God set up the world so that people would have a choice as to obey Him or not. Do you see? If we didn't have freedom of choice, we would be nothing more than mindless robots who obey God out of programming instead of passion. Bottom line, if God didn't allow the possibility of evil coming into the world, there would be no 'world' in the first place."
"OK, I think I'm beginning to understand, but what about all the evil and suffering people have gone through since Adam and Eve? We didn't disobey God in the Garden of Eden, so why do we have to experience such pain???"
"That is an awesome point, and rather than me answering, here's how the Bible explains it:
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (Romans 5:12)
Remember my friend, God didn't make the world with evil and suffering, He made it with free will - so Adam's act of disobedience brought death, disease, famine, and violence to the core of our soul and the ends of the Earth. But ...here's the most amazing part -
Yes, Adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19)
God knew that Adam was going to bring evil and suffering in the world, but instead of yelling 'I told you so!', He cried out: 'Hold on - I'm coming down to help you!'"
"There may be pain and suffering in the world, but because of Jesus we have the choice to choose peace in the midst of it and eternal life after we die!"
"Wow! I guess I never looked at it that way before...oh look - we're just about to the front of the line."
"So...are you still going to ask God why He would be so 'stupid'?"
"Actually, no. I'm going to rephrase my question: ' Dear God, how could you be so loving?'"
Head: What you need to know about this truth
Evil and suffering in the world are a direct result of Adam's choice to disobey God in the Garden of Eden. Adam was allowed a choice (as are we) because God created us with free will.
Heart: What you need to feel about this truth
The story behind "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" is a great reminder of how God takes what is meant for evil and uses it for good. Read about it here.
Hands: What you need to do about this truth
Jesus came to the earth to help heal some of the physical suffering and all of the spiritual torment of the human race. That's what our calling is too! Because we've been entrusted with the knowledge that trusting Christ is the only true answer to pain and suffering, we should always be on the lookout for ways to help hurting people. Who are you going to help today? It could be a simple e-mail, call, visit, or free Starbucks!