Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” – Genesis 4:6-7 NIV (http://bible.com/111/gen.4.6-7.NIV)
Is this you today? Are you downcast, and at the mercy of the sin crouching at your door? I wonder if Cain’s parents had told him and his brother about the Garden; about how breathtakingly beautiful it had been, and why they couldn’t be there anymore. I wonder if perhaps he was a little bitter and envious that they had lived in the perfect place, and because of their sin, he had to work hard working the land to grow his crops. His brother Abel kept flocks, and has difficult as that can be at times, it feels so rewarding to see your labor grow into beautiful animals. Personally, I enjoy gardening and the harvest that comes from it, but having animals… They click within my soul and bring me a joy and peace, much more than my garden. Could that be why Cain was jealous of his brother?
It isn’t a contest. God loves us the same, whether we plant like Adam and Cain, or we care for our herds like Abel, or we nurture and grow our family like Eve. It seems that so many of us spend our lives looking downcast and searching anything around us that we can treat negatively and disdainful. We feel superior to others because they haven’t dealt with the horrible life we have. We are so unfair and judgmental in our thoughts and our words… But what do we know about that person, really? They could have recently received news of a parent or sibling or child dying. Maybe their spouse had an affair , or left unexpectedly; they could have been fired or had a wreck or lost their home through some disaster. Life continues, even when our world is falling apart. No matter what we are facing,
“When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before You. Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. My flesh and my heart may fail, but GOD is the Strength of my heart and my Portion FOREVER.” – Psalm 73:21-23, 26 NIV (http://bible.com/111/psa.73.21-26.NIV)
GOD will never leave us or forsake us – it is us who do the leaving and forsaking, every single time. It’s such a rush, and relief, when we finally get it.