INDELIBLY STAMPED

My first born just turned 16!  I remember holding her tiny hand as if it were yesterday.

Scientists estimate that the distance between the earth and the sun is 92.96 million miles.  If all the molecules that make up one human’s DNA were placed end to end, the strand would reach to the sun and BACK, over 600 times!  I don’t need to do the math to be amazed by those numbers!

The study of DNA and genetics is one of the many reasons why the Theory of Evolution doesn’t make sense to me.  That and many other physiological wonders point to an intelligent Designer, not a random happening where life began out of primordial slime and took on order and extreme complexity.

One of the tests my doctors scheduled for me was a genetics test to determine if I carried the breast cancer gene mutation.  Although breast cancer isn’t in my family history, there was still a chance I had that gene.  If the test was positive, they recommended that I have  a double mastectomy and my ovaries removed.

Clearly, God was giving me another chance to place fear into His hands.  The potential for that extensive surgery was scary.  Another, darker fear lurked there as well: if I carried the mutated gene, I could have passed it on to my girls.  The fear of that was more intense then the fear of personal pain and suffering.

The first genetics test I took was early on in my diagnosis; I thought I would have an answer in two weeks.  Time stretched by slowly.  There was a snafu at the lab, and I had to retake the test. More opportunities to trust!

The night before the second test results were scheduled to come back (10 + weeks after the first test), I stretched out on the floor of my closet. Anxiety crept into my heart. I was more worried about my girls than I was about myself.  A downward spiral tugged at me, and I couldn’t stop the tears.

After a moment, I breathed deep in the dark space and made myself think about the amazing way God formed my body inside my mother’s womb. I thought about how He formed my precious babies inside me.

Psalm 139:15-16 (NIV)

“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

I told the Lord, “You have known my genetics from the beginning.  You know every gene in my body.  You know the genes that make up my daughters.  I trust You.  “Whatever the result.  I trust YOU.  Help me always to choose trust.”

I pictured my beautiful girls in God’s big hand and I curled His fingers around them in my mind.

“I trust You, Lord, with them.”

The next morning, the nurse called.  I felt my heart beating faster.  I stepped out on to the porch.  “Lord, this is it,” I thought.

“It’s good news,” she said.  “You don’t have the gene.”

“Praise the Lord,” I yelled. “Hallelujah.”  She probably thought I was crazy.

I told the girls.  They were so relieved, for me and themselves.  Brian and I celebrated all day. In fact, I’m still thanking God.

When Adam and Eve took a bite of the one fruit in the Garden of Eden that God had forbidden, they chose rebellion instead of love.  Their act of disobedience shattered perfection and humanity was impaled by the shards.  Our spiritual DNA was indelibly stamped with sin, mutated by rebellion and disobedience.  That act impacted all of us, shaping a diseased humanity that could not be in the presence of the Holy God.

God is multi-faceted: Fully just, hater of sin and capable of wrath; but also a loving Father whose heart was broken when His children chose to rebel against Him. He could have zapped Adam and Eve after their sin, but instead He killed an animal in their place, symbolizing, first of all, that the consequence of sin is death.

Then, He made Adam and Eve clothes to wear from the skins.  He knew how hard life would become for them.  The perfect garden could no longer be their home. Toil, trouble, hard labor, bitter cold, sweltering heat, sickness, disease, thorns, insects, and wild animals were all part of the broken world which was now theirs.  The Garden where they walked with and talked to the Lord was closed.

Read the whole story in Genesis chapters 1-3. But, look closely at this now, because Genesis 3:21 reveals an amazing look into God’s character:

“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve and CLOTHED them.”

God could have thrown the garments at their feet: “PUT THEM ON!” He might have yelled.

But, He did not.  They were His children.  He knew what faced them outside the garden.  He loved them, so He clothed them.

A perfectly just God required consequence for sin, but yet, He was a loving God who cared deeply for His rebellious children.

Can you see it? God, helping Adam and Eve into the garments.  Carefully, tenderly,  clothing them. They hadn’t needed garments in the garden because they were as innocent as young children.  Now, with open eyes, they saw their nakedness and were ashamed. They also hadn’t needed clothes in the Garden because conditions were perfect.  Not too hot or too cold.  No sunburn.  No insects or thorns or sharp rocks. No bad weather. No wild animals.  No need for clothes. No need for protection from anything.

I clothed my babies until they could do it themselves.  If you are a mom or dad, you’ve done it, too.  You helped them because they didn’t know how, and you wanted to protect them and keep them warm.  You did it lovingly and tenderly because they were your precious babies.  You clothed them out of love.

That’s what God did.  He clothed His children.  Lovingly, sadly, tenderly.  Scripture doesn’t use those words, but I believe it because I see those things in God’s heart throughout the Bible where His character is on display.

Maybe you have young children and you clothe them now: onesies and cute sundresses and little, bitty shoes. Treasure every moment; because soon, your child will say, “Me do it! Me do it!”

A bitter sweet sadness comes with those words, because you know that little milestone takes your baby one step away from you, one step closer to independence.  God must have felt that sadness as He watched Adam and Eve walk away from the Garden.  I believe there was a bitter sweetness for God as well.

The bitter came from a broken heart and the sweetness came from the knowledge that He already had a way for His children to come back home.  He had already authored the story that would bring  reunion before the creation of the world.  It’s called the Story of Redemption.  It would come to completion in the person of His own Son, Jesus, who loved us so sweetly and completely, that He would choose to give His life to pay for our sin and rebellion.

Only Jesus, the central figure of God’s plan, can erase the sin mutation that was indelibly stamped on our spiritual genetics by the first children, Adam and Eve.

You can’t re-write your physical genetics, but you can re-write your spiritual genetics.  Write a love letter with the words of your heart to Jesus.  Tell Him you are sorry for rebelling against God.  Admit your sins and  accept that you need a Savior who can indelibly stamp these words on your spirit:      FORGIVEN.

5 thoughts on “INDELIBLY STAMPED

  1. From your pain, God brings these words of yours for the world to see..They brought me to tears and I know are touching many hearts. His gift to you of writing and inspiring grows with each day.
    We love you Janey, and are praying for you daily.
    Thank you. I treasure the blessing of your friendship.

    • Carol, Thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad to be a conduit for God’s words and His light. I know it is Him, completely and fully Him. When I am weak, He is strong. There is so much truth in those words! I love you, too and am thankful for your prayers.

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