Romans 8:18-22 – The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth…
Imagine how productive we would be if the world was perfect? What do you think a perfect sunset looks like or a perfect relationship feels like? Imagine a world in which no one gets sick, no one dies, no wars are fought, and no graves are dug.
When God finished making people, and giving us His planet, everything was “very good”. Then, through sin and the curse, we made everything very bad. The good news is that, even though we change, and heaven and earth change, God does not change and God does not change His plan for His people and His planet.
When we think of Heaven, we need to stop thinking about leaving this planet and instead think about what it will be like when Jesus’ prayer is answered, and the Kingdom of Heaven comes to earth and God’s will is done from one end of the cosmos to the other. God does not abandon His design plan from creation. God will not be defeated, dissuaded, or distracted. God remains focused on going back to where He started and sticking with His plan to have human life flourishing on earth and ruled by Heaven which comes to earth.
This explains why the Bible uses lots of words like restore, redeem, resurrect, renew etc. Acts 3:21 looks forward to “the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets”. God will go back to where He started to lift the curse, sentence Satan, raise the dead, and make the realm of Eden in the unseen world visible in the seen realm of earth. He will overtake and liberate all that has been cursed by our sin to be cured by His Son.
The analogy that Paul uses for life as we experience it right now is childbirth. I was present for the birth of our five children and can attest that from pregnancy through birth, the phrase “pains of childbirth” is spot on. I have never met a woman who likes the process of childbirth. I have met many women who love the child they birthed. For this Christian, this life of screaming, weeping, stressing, and pushing is our version of birth where God will bring new beautiful and worthwhile life on the other side. Like childbirth, this painful process is worth the new life birthed on the other side of all the pain. For the Christian, this frames our love for Heaven and infuses our present pain with incredible meaning as one day we will have the same joy as a new mom holding her baby.
If you could only have one thing perfect in your life on earth, what would it be?