In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
... Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return."
God tells Adam (and when God says something, it is never as casual as our mentioning - it is truth and eternal) that from the ground he was taken and now Adam will be at odds with that ground. Thorns and thistles will be the inclination of the ground. The LORD God then sends Adam out to begin the perpetual battle with the stuff from which he came.
The physical curse on what we come from appeared to me to be a picture of the spiritual conflict we have as a result of sin. Our congenital nature produces thorns and thistles for life. We must engage in that war of the "land" or that will be the stuff of our lives - thorns and thistles. Inherent in our spiritual birth is sowing of eternal life; from God's grace which propagates in us the right crop and the crucial ability to determine the difference between the thorns and the roses, the thistles and the wheat, the weeds and the desired harvest.
Without God, we are going to produce spiritually that which we are cursed to be good at - thorns and thistles. By yielding our hearts, lives, minds, passions, time, actions, reactions, pursuits, ... - in essence, our entire lives, we are equipped to rightly cultivate the territory of our spiritual plantations with right plantings which yield the best and most plentiful fruit.
Thank You LORD God for this stark illustration of the nature of me and the potential of me. I can't do it without You, not even for one day. Please keep me secure in the yoke of Your will and love that I may faithfully tend to the harvest You have given me. Open my eyes to recognize anything which pretends to be good in my life that we, (You and me) may yank those suckers up by the bitter, deceptive roots and burn them. I want my life to be a planting for the display of Your splendor. I pray this for my sisters and brothers, too. Lord, let us be a global forest which bears Your fruit for Your purposes.
One more thing that sent my mind awondering and captivated my attention.
God did not uproot the Tree of Life.
He banished humanity from access; but He protected the Tree of Life.
God honors life.
The caution was to prevent man from eating from it and acquiring eternal life while under the curse.
Man was designed to eat everyday.
Jesus is the answer to the curse. He is our Tree of Life.
Again, man was designed to eat everyday.
Doesn't that mean I need Jesus everyday?
I know I do; but in this passage I am charged with making sure that I am spiritually and cognitively partaking of what my Tree of Life, Christ my Lord, offers me everyday for my strength and nourishment, my life.
Thank You Lord that in the beginning You set the standard for my life and that You have given me full access to Life Eternal. What grace and love and mercy! Help me to daily experience that Life from You.