Today’s reading: Genesis 3:16-19

One of the most repeated questions humanity asks is “if God exists, why is there so much pain?” Today’s passage is the answer. We saw what happened when Adam and Eve turned away from God – they became insecure and lashed out at each other. In this passage we see that their rebellion affected the earth as well. Not only does God say there is going to be conflict between men and women (notice that the end of v. 16 is a product of the fall, a power struggle between the sexes. God never intended this), it says that our actual bodies and the earth we live in are cursed as well.

This is something that’s often overlooked in Christianity: we are profoundly connected to the universe we live in. There is a relationship between us and our planet, and it was just as damaged by our choice to rebel against God as we were.

This is why we struggle to work in harmony with the earth. It’s why we tend to be ecologically irresponsible. And it’s the explanation for why there are floods and tsunamis and earthquakes – as the Bible says elsewhere “creation itself groans for redemption.”

This means two things: 1) we understand that we now live in a world where our bodies and this earth don’t work the way God initially intended. 2) We should still treat them responsibly.

Now what: Are you, or is someone you know, suffering from illness or injury? Spend time praying for you or that person today, that God will heal the body, but also that He would provide comfort and hope in the middle of that pain.

If you have time, find a spot out in nature. If not, think about one of your favorite places in nature to visit. Even though this world is broken, God’s beauty is still in it. Spend time thanking God for the gift that is this planet. What does the beauty of that spot show about God’s character (for example, his artistry, his love of order, his “bigness”)?

In the Psalms it says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” God created you and delights in you. Who you are – body and soul – is God’s cherished creation. As you think about that, talk to God knowing that He cares about you.

Want more? Romans 8:18-30

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