I recently cleaned up my Pinterest boards and my largest board right now is one called "Encouragement". It's full of verses, Biblical truths, and quotes from Godly men and women. It's one of my favourites, and I consistently go back to it time and time again to remind myself of truths I cherish.
So today the truth I'm sitting on is this: reconciliation and forgiveness begin here. Right now, with me. Independent of any action, person, or though. Purely as a result of the fact that my Heavenly Father forgives and reconciles me back to him every morning.
I'm fascinated with what the Garden of Eden must have been like. What that perfection felt like, what living so near to God was like. I'm heartbroken that Eden is out of our reach now, and sometimes I find myself sitting just outside of Eden, wishing to be let in. And in these moments, when I am craving the perfection God had intended for us, I find myself even more in awe of the reconciliation and forgiveness that take place so that one day we enter into something better than Eden: we get Heaven forever.
That reconciliation and forgiveness can never bring me back to Eden. I'm still on the outside, dreaming of what it must have been like. But they bring me back to Jesus nonetheless, and I'm starting to see how much more beautiful that relationship is, and the promise of Heaven, than a garden. And encouragement is found yet again this morning, in the simple truth that although we fall short and get ourselves kicked out of Eden, we are reconciled back. We are forgiven. We are promised Heaven forever.