What do the first few chapters of Genesis and our garden have in common (other than the involvement of gardens)? They illustrate an important principle: our choices of whether to obey God have consequences that are more extreme and widespread than we can ever anticipate.
Genesis 3, 4, and 6 show that with regard to the consequences of disobedience. In Genesis 3, Eve chose to disobey God’s directions about the forbidden tree and Adam chose to join her disobedience. That resulted in sin entering the world and them losing their perfect way of life. The consequences continued to unfold in Genesis 4. The newly introduced sins of pride, envy, and anger resulted in Cain murdering Abel and Cain’s descendants becoming increasingly twisted. By the time of Genesis 6 the infection of sin had gotten so severe and so widespread that God was tempted to scuttle His creation. All that resulted from the initial decision to disobey God by eating from the forbidden tree—that choice set that train of events in motion.
Those chapters also show that the consequences of disobedience defy calculation. What do you think Eve expected when she ate from the forbidden tree? That her entire way of life would be upset? That it would lead to one of her kids killing the other one? That all of mankind would become so corrupt that God wanted to wipe them all out? I doubt it. She—and we—simply can’t foresee all the consequences that follow our decisions about whether to obey God.
The good news is that the same dynamics apply to obedience. We see in Genesis 6, 7, 8, and 9 that Noah’s obedience saved all of mankind. That result—the effects of which continue to this day—followed because “Noah did everything just as God commanded him." Genesis 6:22 (NIV).
That dynamic is illustrated in our very midst by our garden. God prompted Kelly Hern to start it in 2009. She knew little about gardening. She didn’t know if anyone would help her. She didn’t know what would happen. But she obeyed.
The results were better and more wide spread spread than she could ever have expected. Help and support came from people she didn’t even know at that time. Wonderful relationships have been formed. Many folks have been incredibly blessed by the results of Kelly's obedience in ways she could never have foreseen:
- One of our volunteers has been helped in his battle with alcoholism by keeping busy in the garden.
- Doma has been better able to help women and girls escape the life of prostitution because the garden has resulted in Doma's Freedom a la Cart program receiving hundreds of dollars worth of free ingredients.
- Hundreds of immigrants have been made to feel welcome by receiving produce from our garden through the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program.
- Literally thousands of folks have been fed by the more than 30,000 Lbs. of fresh produce the garden has generated since Kelly chose to obey God.