Seasonal Allergies and the Garden of Eden

sin, fall of man, isaiah 11I have just come through a week that was both uncomfortable and difficult.  For no reason that I could discern I was achy all over and my nose and throat itched and burned.  On top of that I seemed to be walking around in a daze, unable to concentrate and with only enough energy to put one foot in front of the other and remain upright.  More than once I thought “there is really something wrong with me, maybe I should go see a doctor!”

But then a discovery was made.  Evidently, elm, alder and cedar pollen was extremely high during the first and middle part of the week and my body seems to have no tolerance for it.  Then after a few days the pollen count dropped and I felt so much better.  It was almost as if someone had flipped a switch.  There was no gradual recovery as there often is with a real sickness.  It was simply “I feel rotten!” for a couple of days and then “I feel great!”

During all of this I was doing a lot of praying.  Prayer for strength to overcome.  Prayer for the Lord to be my sustenance because I was faltering.  And prayer that I might be able to accomplish what was required of me even when I would have rather been in my bed sleeping.

I also had to remind myself to thank the Lord for being so good to me in so many ways.  I am incredibly thankful that the Lord’s mercy and grace is not dependent on how I feel or perform on a daily basis.  It’s very easy to forget just how blessed I am when I don’t feel well but the Lord deserves my praise all of the time.

At some point during this running dialogue that I was having with the Lord I had the thought (or perhaps it was given to me) that God did not set out to design his creation so that when one organism flourishes (the trees), another suffers (me).  Sickness, weakness, fever, sore throats, headaches and most especially seasonal allergies did not exist before the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.

Sin’s effects are so far reaching that they even taint the changing of the seasons by making some humans allergic to a natural byproduct of life in progress in the form of pollen.  This was not part of God’s design and personally I can’t wait to experience a time when all of creation is redeemed and we finally get to see God’s glorious creation in all of its splendor.  I want to walk among the abundance of all of God’s creation and see and touch the world as He meant it to be.

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.  (Isaiah 11:6-9 NKJV)

God’s word tells us that a day is coming when all will be at peace.  Organisms will no longer hurt and kill each other and there will be no more suffering.  When one being flourishes it will not cause pain and suffering to another.

Sin is serious and I do not mean to make light of it by holding up seasonal allergies as a form of ultimate evil.  Our world has far more serious problems than hay fever.  But sometimes God uses silly situations and uncomfortable circumstances to teach us great truths.  Now as always all I can do is continue to say “I am here Lord, and I am listening”.