Have you ever watched a worm stuck on hot pavement?

It flips and flops around. It’s stuck. It may only be a few inches away from the vital-life-saving-nutrient-rich-subteranean-earth it calls home, but on the pavement, the worm does not know which way it needs to go. It cannot get there on its own. It’s completely helpless.

The worm has no face, no eyes, no ears, no hands, no ability to help itself to the earth it so desperately needs. Every noise and bright light disorients the worm. It is confused. It cannot help itself.

And while the worm flips and flops its life ebbs away as its tiny body gives up what little moisture it has through its skin. It literally dehydrates.

For a worm, the God-ordained environment is subterranean. It’s deep down in the dark and quiet earth.

Our original God-ordained environment is in intimate, unbroken relationship with God. Think back to the garden. Before the Fall, Adam lived incredibly close, in complete dependence on God. Sin changed humanities relationship with God. But thank God, He loves us so much, and through the work of Jesus on the Cross, God made a way back to that original relationship. He reinstated us. God longs for us to be intimate with Him once again, but this only happens away from the crushing, screaming, busyness of life.

Like the worm who goes down deep into the dark and quiet earth, we need to allow God to go deep with us, sometimes into the dark recesses of our heart, bringing healing and love, and we need to learn to remain quiet before God. This is where intimacy with Him is found.

There’s a second part to our God-ordained environment, it’s our relationships one-to-another. We have been called to live and love interdependently in the community of believers–a local church. God places us in a church. He puts people next to us who we are called to do life with. We are to love and cherish them, overlook their faults, prefer them over ourselves, lookout for them, help pull the gold out of them and polish it up, cheer them on, protect them, provide for them, like a loving family would.

These two things, our relationship with God and our relationships with each other, provide the vital-life-saving-nutrient-rich environment we need. Outside this God-ordained environment we suffer the same fate as the worm. We flip and flop around, helpless to know which way to go. Slowly, but with finality, our spiritual life will ebb away.

We are no different from the worm, we need to be in our God-ordained environment.