Tuesday

Modern Motherhood - Mama Eve - the Ultimate Survivor

Our society loves reality television. For some reason, people are attracted to what others do "behind the scenes" of their lives. While I do not care for the most popular shows such as "Survivor," "Keeping up with the Kardashians," "Orange County Housewives," and "American Idol," I do get a kick out of "Duck Dynasty." I think this is because they give the impression of an honest, hard working family that is successful without letting it go to their heads. I also like their goofiness. One of my favorites was when they tried to get honey by using a shop vac to suck the bees out of their hive. It failed miserably. I knew it would, but it was funny nonetheless.
The fall depicted in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo


In a short study of the popularity of these shows on the web, it appears that "Survivor" is one of the all time highly rated reality shows on television. I couldn't believe it when on Thanksgiving one year, my dad said that he had to watch "Survivor" that night to find out what was happening. Then, I was really amazed when Mike's daughter's family piled on the couch to watch it with him. I settled down in my chair to find out what they were so excited about and ended up making sarcastic remarks most of the way through.

All that aside, I find that the greatest survivors in our world are mothers; yet, most of them do not and would not make it to television. This was certainly true of the first mother in Genesis, Eve. At first, Eve had it made. She lived in a beautiful lush garden with dinner pre-made on all of the trees, she didn't have to worry about a wardrobe and she was perfect because she was made in the image of God and because she was truly innocent. She also had a perfect husband. 

In Eve's early existence, what she did not have was unnecessary. Unless she thought about that dang tree in the middle of the garden. The one her husband Adam said that God said they couldn't eat or even touch or they would die.

At that time Eve did not know what death was, but she knew it was bad. Real bad. Otherwise Adam would not have been so insistent. Right?

We do not know how long Eve stared at that tree before the snake noticed her interest. But by the time he did take notice, it was easy to convince Eve that eating the fruit would not kill her. What Eve found out, unfortunately, is that yes, she would eventually die physically, but the real death came because of her disobedience and her distrust in God, her creator. This began the slow task of sin infecting her soul. She would have to fight it now for the rest of her life so that it didn't kill her. 

Can you imagine the guilt and sorrow that Eve must have felt? First, she disobeyed God. Then, her life changed drastically. She now had to wear clothes, she and her family were kicked out of the garden and were forced to live where growing food was hard. We do not know for sure if Eve produced children before the Fall but some rabbis posit that Mother Eve was having multiple births every time she went into labor. Now that labor produced incredible pain. Along with her physical pain, Eve also had to endure tremendous emotional pain, especially when her son Cain murdered his brother Abel. For me, there is a clue from this verse at the end of Genesis 4:

"Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth,saying, 'God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.'” 

Even though she'll never make it to a reality television show, Eve proved to be a survivor. I am sure that the Lord was close to her and gave her strength because he does that for everyone, but, like us, Eve had to accept that strength. Although the scripture doesn't say, I am sure that God and Eve came to terms over what she had done. God's forgiveness gave her the strength to endure all of the difficulty that lied ahead. 

Modern mothers have strength as well. It may not show in everyday life, but when true hardship comes along, mothers seem to have a reserve of strength that they use to cope and also share with others. This happened to me when my first husband died of pancreatic cancer. I had never dealt with terminal illness before and somehow God gave me the strength to handle a very sick husband, three boys, a dog, the hospital, emotional turmoil, loneliness and even a flat tire to boot. I could not have handled the logistics without the help of some very kind people, but inside, instead of melting down, my emotions were strong and I was able to keep it going for 18 months. Now, I fall apart at happy events like graduation

Whatever your reason for discontent, depression, anxiety, realize that the Lord is there for you. Take the strength he offers and determine to live for God no matter what takes place.