“…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:17-19).
I’ll never forget the day three years ago when Lindsey was quite pregnant with our first, Ben (pictured below), waddled by me while I was sitting in a recliner studying over a sermon. Without cracking the slightest smirk she quipped, “What’s your curse again?”
I love that woman.
But she had a point. I feel like the man’s curse is meant for agrarian cultures and guys who work hard labor elsewhere. I don’t exactly feel the thorns and thistles, and sweat doesn’t drip from my face while I’m reading a commentary unless the heat is unbearably high and my fan is broken.
Then I weeded. I’d never weeded. We didn’t have a garden growing up, or any flowers for that matter. Weeding is awful. My legs are sore from the crouching and awkward positions I found myself in.
Beyond the soreness was the sheer aggravation in the moment. I would dig and dig and think I had the weed right where I wanted it, only to have the weed say, “That ain’t my root, city boy!”
The roots of weeds are deep. I was reminded of how deeply my sin is rooted. How easy it is to mow it down for a moment, only to have it return in due time.
But for the first time I felt a literal playing out of the curse. Now sure, I’d dreaded work before that–even from the vantage point of a comfy office chair with stellar lumbar support. But this was different.
I felt the weight of “you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
I see Lindsey now at nearly four months pregnant and am reminded of the coming agony that she knows so well. Not to mention the painful veins and nausea she’s already experiencing. The blessing of a child wrapped in the packaging of a curse.
The curse is real. And the only cure is Christmas.
Jesus alone, the seed of the woman, can crush the head of evil (Gen 3:15). A baby’s birth was the beginning of the end for the devil and his devices. This is why we celebrate.