The Purpose of Process
Genesis 1 records that when God created man on the sixth day, everything else was formed and in place. God had already prepared the environment for humanity. God made a world for man that was suitable. It was pleasant, fragrant, visually appealing and comfortable...not too hot, not too cold...just right. Genesis 2 shares more detail about the environment.
Genesis 2:4-6 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
4) Here is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created. On the day when Adonai, God, made earth and heaven, 5) there was as yet no wild bush on the earth, and no wild plant had as yet sprung up; for Adonai, God, had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no one to cultivate the ground. 6) Rather, a mist went up from the earth which watered the entire surface of the ground.
These verses tell us that only what God formed and what He wanted was there. That is not what we deal with today. If a garden is planted today, all kinds of strange vegetation appears that wasn’t planted. Instead of water coming down to water the earth, in Eden a mist went up from the earth. There was nothing in the ground that God didn’t want there so there was no contamination. There wasn’t anything foreign in the ground that would sprout up, run wild, to overgrow what God had planted and take over.
Genesis 2:7-9 (CJB)
7) Then Adonai, God, formed a person [from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being. 8) Adonai, God, planted a garden toward the east, in ‘Eden, and there he put the person whom he had formed. 9) Out of the ground Adonai, God, caused to grow every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
When God placed Adam in the garden, everything was in order. No weeds. No wild or contrary vines wrapping themselves around good plants and choking the life out of them. We know, that for some reason, if left unchecked, the weeds will always take over the area. It never happens the other way where the productive, orderly plants outgrow and out produce the weeds and choke them out. It just doesn’t happen.
The text seems to suggest that when the earth began to be watered with rain coming down instead of mist going up, some type of contamination occurred. This could be because satan, the fallen angel, is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). It could be that the rain was tainted or contaminated as it passed through the air. As the prince of the power of the air, the enemy had influence in that realm. This is a possible explanation. Another thought is that perhaps it didn’t begin to rain until after Adam and Eve sinned. The ground being cursed was part of the consequence of disobedience or sin. This is recorded in Genesis 3: 17-19.
17) To Adam he said, “Because you listened to what your wife said and ate from the tree about which I gave you the order, ‘You are not to eat from it,’ the ground is cursed on your account; you will work hard to eat from it as long as you live. 18) It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat field plants. 19) You will eat bread by the sweat of your forehead till you return to the ground — for you were taken out of it: you are dust, and you will return to dust.”
But going back to chapter 2, before the fall, the point I want to make is that everything was in order.
The only missing element for Adam was a companion. And for Eve nothing was missing. Everything was there. Everything was in place. Everything was functioning as intended.
Genesis 2:18, 21-22
18) Adonai, God, said, “It isn’t good that the person should be alone. I will make for him a companion suitable for helping him.”
21) Then God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the person; and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and closed up the place from which he took it with flesh. 22) The rib which Adonai, God, had taken from the person, he made a woman-person; and he brought her to the man-person.
God set them in a situation where there was no waiting. Our topic today is “The Purpose of Process” or “The Worth of Waiting”. Adam and Eve didn’t have to wait. Everything was instant and mature. It was immediately ready for use and enjoyment. God told Adam the trees in the garden were good for food and pleasant to the sight (Genesis 2:9). God didn’t tell them, “Now this isn’t the season for squash or cucumbers.” He didn’t tell them they would have to wait six months for oranges. The trees and fruit bearing plants were already mature. Adam and Eve didn’t have a two-year engagement before they could be together. They were husband and wife right away.
Because of this, I believe that ‘Right Now’ beginning formed an expectation in them that has been passed to all of their descendants. This is why it is uncomfortable for us to wait. I don’t want to go through the stages of the process. I would prefer for whatever I am expecting from God, for it to manifest on the spot, right now, no delay. The manner of living that we experience now was not the original plan. Everything was there. Everything was ready. Everything was already in its useful state. They didn’t have to wait for the flower to bloom, the tree to blossom or the fruit to mature. There weren’t any seasons of waiting in order to enjoy what God had provided.
When we reign with the Lord in eternity, that manner of living will be reinstated. What was lost through Adam and Eve’s disobedience will be restored. We will be comfortable again. We won’t be plagued with what is really foreign to who God created us to be. He did not create us to be sick or infirm or distressed or have mood swings or be in pain or suffer discomfort or be mistreated. All of that is foreign to who God made us to be.
But while we are here, we are subject to process and waiting. God doesn’t do anything without purpose. Even though it is generally not what we want to happen, the process has purpose and the wait has worth. They are helpful and valuable to us in this earthly realm.
In studying this topic, eight or nine benefits of waiting seemed to emerge. To help me remember them I am using this acronym: T-UPLOADS.
T is for Time. Time helps us develop Trust. Our hope and confidence in the Lord develop over time. It doesn’t happen all at once. We have to walk with Him awhile. Time offers opportunity for our Faith to grow and mature.
Psalm 27:14 NIV Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
U is for Understanding. Process encourages understanding. We generally have a much better grasp about a thing at the end of it than we did at the beginning. Life, marriage and parenthood are excellent examples.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
Pride says, “Why should I have to wait?!?” Which leads to the next benefit of the process which is
P for Patience. Impatience is related to pride. Patience or longsuffering is a fruit of the Spirit. We see that in Galatians 5:22.
L is for Learning. The Lord wants us to know things. None of us did the best job the first time we did something that required skill and knowledge. Through process, we repeat. Do it again and again. We should get better at it each time. This isn’t only for our own well-being. One reason we learn is so we can help and correctly instruct others.
O is for Obedience. If something is uncomfortable, we are less likely to want to do it. As we obey, it often becomes easier. There are blessings attached to obedience.
Isaiah 1:19 NIV If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;
O can also be for Observation. Some things we learn by watching. It isn’t necessary or advisable to experience everything firsthand. Paying attention to the process can be very helpful: watch what happens, how it happens, what affect is produced or observe the outcome.
Proverbs 12:23 NIV The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.
A is for Appreciation. If something is given to a person too quickly, too easily and too soon, there is little or no appreciation. Kids who get whatever they want, whenever they want, grow up to be unthankful brats. And it isn’t the child’s fault. It is the error of whoever is raising them. Wise parents know that a healthy balance needs to be achieved. God is a wise parent. Our Heavenly Father always does what is best for us.
Proverbs 20:21 An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end.
D is for Discipline. Waiting helps develop discipline. It is a sign of maturity. I may want a new household appliance. But rather than taking out a loan or putting the purchase on a credit card so I can have the item right now, it is better to save the money and pay cash for it later. If I can discipline myself to wait, I will have saved so much in interest fees and the item is truly mine. I don’t owe anyone for it.
Proverbs 22:6 NIV Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Proverbs 12:1 NIV Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.
It is very difficult for a person who has lived life without boundaries to all of a sudden start reigning in their appetites. There will be an internal rebellion and an intense struggle.
S is for Seasons. Through process and waiting there are seasons. Every season of life has benefits although many people prefer one over the others. Concerning natural earth seasons, some people prefer the chill of winter when the earth is quiet and the air is crisp. Others like summer when there is plenty of sun, heat, picnics and warm weather celebrations and activities. Others would choose somewhere in between those extremes. But seasons are important because each one requires something different. We prepare differently. We dress differently. We eat differently. We travel differently. It is important to know how to maneuver successfully in whatever phase of life we are in. Process and waiting are unavoidable aspects of this life.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4 NIV
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
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