Milk and Honey Magazine explains the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We are so loved by God!

Naked and Afraid, Literally

Paige Weslaski

Your hunky crush; your English teacher; your whole high school... staring... at you. A few scream, a few gasp, a handful laugh; but the one commonality is the horror in their eyes. Quickly, you realize something is not right, not right at all. And as you follow their glances and peer down at your body, you find the culprit of their reactions – You. Are. NAKED. Butt... NAKED!

You grab the nearest lunch tray to cover what little you can and scurry your bare feet fast enough to set a new gym class record. You dodge the obstacles of trash bins and loitering freshman, sprinting straight to the exit door. But yet, failing to notice the yellow 'slippery when wet' sign, you torpedo straight to the gum-stained floor. And in an instant, your world goes black, and you know your reputation is officially done-zo.

But, within a moment's time, you hear a strange sound: BEEP... BEEP... BEEP. Is that your phone alarm? And are those... pancakes you smell?

Slowly opening one eyelid, you find yourself not in your cafeteria, not in your high school, but alas, safe within your twin bed, fully clothed in your pink jammies, just waking up for the day. And quickly, you realize it was all a silly, nonsensical dream.

Breathing a heavy sigh of relief and audibly thanking Jesus for not blowing it with your "fingers crossed" homecoming date, you crawl out of bed to begin your day (wearing an extra sweater, just in case). You throw your head back and laugh. All a silly, old dream.

While many of us have had similar dreams where (*gasp!) we're naked for all to see, the relief of waking up easily erases the damage. However (and this is a BIG however), one infamous couple didn't get so lucky, and unfortunately, they never woke up at all. Dare I share, they're long-lost ancestors of yours and mine... going by none-other than (you guessed it!) Adam and Eve. Let's buckle our seatbelts and travel 6,000 years back to the Garden of Eden for a front-row-seat, shall we?

Once our great-great-great grammy and gramps pinched themselves to try to wake up expecting to discover that they, too, were simply in a dream, God showed up to alert them that, alas, they were very much awake, asking the infamous question that shook all of humanity: "who told you that you were naked?"

We're familiar with the story preceding this; Eve was tempted by the crafty serpent, she ate the one fruit God warned her not to eat, Adam joined in on the fun, and the duo realized said fun faded quickly. God soon found the ashamed couple hiding in the jungle, and they cried over being naked and afraid. And this brings us back to God's question: "who told you that you were naked?"

God created Adam and Eve to be pure, whole, full, and, yes, naked. However, their nakedness was not something of shame, it was instead a thing of beauty, honor, and approval. Their nakedness, or completeness, rather, proved their acceptance by God. It demonstrated His love for them; all of them; everything they were.

Yet, because they disobeyed and listened to the wrong voice (of that pesky serpert), the duo flipped a switch; no longer was their nakedness a badge of valor, but a cause of alarm. "Surely you will not die," the serpent told them. "You'll be just like God if you eat it, I promise!" he hissed. "Trust me, it'll be so worth it!" And after Eve plucked the fruit and realized how pretty and tasty it looked, she shrugged her shoulders and gave it a whirl. Surely this friendly serpent couldn't be that bad, right?

Wrong. Within an instant, both Eve and Adam ka-plunked themselves right out of the heavenly garden. Naked and afraid.

While most of us don't regularly find ourselves naked and afraid (other than those brave contestants on that loony Discovery Channel show, that is), we DO get tempted when we're told how to live our lives. And you and I, beloved, are told over 10,000 messages daily, each dispatching a different instruction.

"You must be rail thin. You must marry before 27. You must have a cozy seat at the pinnacle of corporate America and your own Instagram fitness coaching business and a boy/girl set of poo-less babies and a white Lexus and a bunny-slope nose and a cozy trust-fund and a... and a... and a..."

You know it; I know it. Speeding down the information highway well on our way towards becoming metaphorical roadkill, we, as millennials, spend 2+ hours a day scanning our phones, stamped with a literal bitten apple on its backside. We hear plenty of (false) messages, digest those messages, and spit out the aftermath (our insecurities, anxieties, depression, and nonexistent self-worth), all because our subconscious listened to the crafty SERPENT over the Everlasting God. We become, in essence, naked and afraid, hiding our true selves from both the world and God for fear our "ugly" will be exposed.

Sweet sister, I write this article not in trivial whimsy, but in honest truth: You are PURE. You are HOLY. And you are HIS. Once you accept Jesus Christ, you are given the power to turn your back on the foolish suggestions of the "serpents" of this world. And we are urged, as Acts 19:19 explains, to RID of the harmful material we have devoured in the past (i.e. MTV reality shows for some, Instagram for others, etc). Unlike for Adam and Eve, Jesus covers all our brokenness and shame. However, we must allow Him that access.

Lovely, listen to me closely. When we draw close to Jesus, only then do we understand our REAL worth, beauty, and value. And while some may not understand our newfound confidence and ask us, "who told you that you were worthy?," we will have one answer, and one answer alone: Jesus Christ. 

So, while we can't stop those occasional bad dreams, we can stop those false messages flirting with our ears. With God on our side, we have nothing to fear, and we will never, ever, find ourselves naked and afraid.