Trees and Tiny Bits


There’s a powerful message among us that is wreaking havoc everywhere.

It goes something like this: God restricts you to only a little bit, but there is so much more to have!

For some, this is an empowering call to liberation from outdated religious restrictions. For others, it’s a stoic call to crush dangerous desires.

And there’s nowhere this message and these conflicting responses are more prevalent than in the area of sexual desire.

But we have it backwards.

In the beginning, God didn’t give Adam and Eve a small portion. He gave them . . . everything.

He withheld only one thing: just one tree. “From this tree you shall not eat” (Gen. 2:17).

So where do we get the idea that God offers only a little?

They chose it.

The mother and father of the human race said ‘no’ to all God had given. Out of all the gardens, groves, and forests of the earth, they became fixated on the one tree, the little bit . . . until they gave up everything for its fruit.

What about you? Where are you fixated on something God has said ‘no’ to? Does it seem like freedom, spaciousness, love, or life is there?

If so, don’t be fooled.

Adam and Eve’s story repeats itself in the lives of men and women everywhere in our day—for both those abandoned to their lusts and those holding stalwartly to their morals. (Interestingly, addiction recovery meetings include people from both groups, all with similar stories of fixating on that one thing, giving more and more for it, getting less and less from it, and for some, losing everything as a result.)

Jesus has another way for us.

It starts out narrow (Mt. 7:14), but its destination is vast and free. The way is through his cross—a very different tree from which he invites us all to “Take, eat” (Mt. 26:26).

Today is Good Friday. Where are you longing (sexual or otherwise)? Where are you hungry for more? Where have you become convinced God offers only a little compared to all that is available? Instead of indulging or repressing these hungers, come hungry to the tree where Christ’s body is nailed. “Take, eat.”

It may look and feel to you like the small portion, or even like death.

But resurrection follows.


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By Josh Glaser

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