Odds are you know the story of Adam and Eve. It’s all there in Genesis 1-2, nice and easy to find if you wish to look it up. God makes Adam, decides it isn’t good for him to be alone, gets him to name all the animals, he doesn’t find a companion among them, so God takes one of Adam’s ribs and makes Eve. It’s a Sunday School favourite (for some reason there are far less Sunday School lessons on Simeon and Levi’s revenge on Shechem – see that story in Genesis 34)
But sometimes when a story is so familiar, we can read over it and miss these amazing lessons that are lying just beneath the surface. Not that long ago I was reading “Searching for God knows what” by Donald Miller (if you haven’t read anything by Don, you should – his blog is a great (free!) place to start). And he pointed out something from the Adam and Eve story that for all these years I had missed.
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.” Genesis 2:18-20
When it says God got Adam to name all the animals, that was a huge task. Like seriously huge. Just think how many animals scientists have discovered. Now imagine finding all of them, coming up with unique names for each species, and working out if they were a new species or just a slightly different looking version of a species you had already named. Trying to remember what names you had already used for the previous million different animals you had encountered. It would have taken an insanely long time. Hundreds of years or more. And all this time Adam was without a companion, wandering the earth alone, totally naked, with no wife to cook him a meal at the end of the day, no friends to hang out and watch football with.
Then eventually after all the animals are named, God makes Eve for Adam. And she is perfect. See the thing is, because Adam had to wait so long, no matter what Eve was like she was going to be infinitely better than the cows and rhinos and eagles. Adam was going to give her the honour she deserved. He wouldn’t take advantage of her, or use her for physical pleasure. Because he had had to wait so long he was going to treat her the way she deserved.
And isn’t the same true for us? When we have to save up for a long time to afford that new laptop or mobile phone we are so careful with it. But when we just get given something chances are we won’t value it so much. We won’t take so much care of it. The waiting makes it more special and causes us to value what we have been waiting for more.
So maybe today you are waiting on something. Maybe like Adam you are waiting for your Eve. And I know all about that wait. It sucks. But stick it out. God has a plan and God has a reason. C.S. Lewis once said “I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.” If God is telling you to wait for something at the moment, it is because when you finally do get whatever it is, it will be all the more sweet because of the wait.
So don’t lose hope today. As you wait, trust in the Lord who makes “everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11), wait with patience and know that if God is asking you to wait on something today, it is so that you can appreciate it all the more when you get it.