Romans 8:22-27 – For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
We do it all the time when we are in pain, exhausted, or just plain frustrated.
Groaning is what we do when we don’t know what to do.
Groaning is what we say when we don’t know what to say.
Did you know that Creation is somehow groaning out to God? Human sin has broken the entirety of creation so that it is cursed, broken, flawed, and held back from bursting forth in full glory.
Did you know that the Holy Spirit is also groaning out as God? Apparently, God is more frustrated than we are with all the sin and suffering, death and destruction, evil and enmity. Thankfully, the Spirit takes burdens off us that we cannot carry, leads us through the war zone to the Kingdom, and empowers us with supernatural strength to live for Heaven in a world gone to Hell. All of this happens in prayer, where the Spirit of God takes even our deepest longings, feelings, and fears that we cannot even articulate and interprets them to the Father a bit like a loving parent who understands the different kinds of cries their child makes.
Paul explains all of this using a fitting and amazing analogy since history is like a pregnant momma. I was present for the pregnancy and birth of each of our five children. As the pregnancy got closer to delivery, my wife Grace got more uncomfortable and exhausted. We knew that the birth was coming once the contractions started, and they became more intense and frequent as the build-up toward birth was underway. Things got so painful that I grew worried about my wife and the baby – it all seemed too much to endure. Eventually, through all the screaming, crying, pushing, and suffering, new life was born, and I got to watch my wife hold our baby. Every time, she smiled and said it was worth it because of the gift of new life. Human history, and your part in it right now, is a painful birth process like that and we are told that, when all is said and done, in eternity, the new life in us and around us will have been worth it all.
What lessons can you learn from pregnancy and birth that help make sense of the pain and suffering you experience in this life?
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