Do you have the green grass syndrome? You know. This is the feeling that the grass will be greener some place else. I confess, I often find myself having this “syndrome.” If I get too stressed or things are not going exactly right, it becomes easier and easier to wonder what might be better. Is there a better job? Is there a better place to live?
You have likely had these feelings too. You may even be having these feelings now.
It almost makes me feel a little better to see that maybe even God has a similar feeling from time to time. How many times did God want to start over?
In Acts 17, Paul is speaking to the council on Mars Hill. Here Paul references how God made all of the nations from one person, Adam.
24 God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples made with human hands. 25 Nor is God served by human hands, as though he needed something, since he is the one who gives life, breath, and everything else. 26 From one person God created every human nation to live on the whole earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God made the nations so they would seek him, perhaps even reach out to him and find him. In fact, God isn’t far away from any of us.
God created all of the nations in the beginning through one person, Adam. Then, some time later, the people are found to be too rebellious. Things are not “right”. So God calls out to Noah and his family, makes it rain a little, and He starts over through Noah (Genesis 9:1).
God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the earth. (Genesis 9)
Later still, God calls out to Abraham, then Abram (Genesis 12:1-2):
The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation and will bless you. I will make your name respected, and you will be a blessing.
After God frees his people from slavery in Egypt, his people quickly rebel against Him. They make a golden calf and worship it instead of God. They even go so far to say that it was the golden calf that led them out of Egypt, the very idol they just made. God had a right to be angry, again. He tells Moses (Exodus 32:9-10):
9 The Lord said to Moses, “I’ve been watching these people, and I’ve seen how stubborn they are. 10 Now leave me alone! Let my fury burn and devour them. Then I’ll make a great nation out of you.”
Do you see a pattern here?
Now I do not think that this points to God having the “green grass syndrome”. God is not merely being impatient and wanting to move on. If anything, it is more a reflection of our sin and our rebellion against God. If anything, it should overwhelm us to know that God continues to love us in spite of our rebellion.
What does this mean for us?
Try not to be surprised when you feel like escaping to where you think the grass is greener. Often, the situation is not as bad as it seems, and it is best to stick it out. If you do move on, again, do not be surprised when the feeling comes back for this world is not perfect….at least not yet.
Through Jesus, God is forming a perfect nation, a perfect people (Revelation 21).
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God.
Some day none of us will wrestle with the “green grass syndrome” because some day all things will fully be as they should be.
(All scripture cited above from Common English Bible Copyright © 2011)