TIME slows down in the present when something exciting is planned for the future. I remember sitting on the edge of my seat in my English Composition class anticipating the bell. That bell was the highlight and joy of my life for many years. I would figit, draw, imagine, sleep, anything to help the time go by. Sitting in class would welt up a kind of groaning in me and would have my eyes and heart set on freedom, free to be outside, free to do what I wanted, free to fly a kite, free to be a kid!
Eventually I grew up and discovered freedom is much much more complicated then that but my groaning’s for future realities have not changed a single bit. What are we talking about when we talk about groaning, longing, and or anticipating? Paul wrote:
Romans 8:22 – 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 first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Paul is clear in communicating this truth; creation is waiting eagerly to be made new, and we “wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies”
The unsettling nature of creation made me think about the staggering site of the mountains breaking forth into singing. Isaiah wrote “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” This is the kind of praise Jesus will usher in! Creation will praise the name of Christ loudly, they will break forth and be relieved from there state of bondage, they will freely glorify Jesus with all of there might and beauty.
What a powerful picture this is. Even more so Paul says “we ourselves…groan inwardly as we wait” We wait for our “adoption as sons” “the redemption of our bodies”. Without getting to far in understanding this fully I will simply say; we are all eagerly waiting for the return of King Jesus! Christ Jesus came, Christ Jesus is with us now, and Christ Jesus is coming back to restore all things to Himself.
Most of life is waiting is it not? Hope is a powerful deal, because hope is what drags us through our waiting. In the film “Shawshank Redemption” Red was right when he said “Hope is a dangerous thing” But it was hope that got Dufresne through his time in prison, it was hope of the outside world that got him outside those prison walls. Hope is a powerful and dangerous reality, it kicks our inward groaning’ s into action.
In light of this, how are we to act if our hope is anchored in Jesus? As the author of Hebrews writes “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf” If Jesus be our hope how are we to wait? Three ideas.
1) Repent: Repentance is not something to get out of the way in life, but is in fact a way of life. Repentance is turning from our own selfish sinful agendas to Christ and His agenda.
2) Believe: As we wait eagerly we need to believe the gospel everyday, His perfect life, His brutal death and His glorious resurrection. Believing in the gospel will lead us to praise His beautiful name.
3) Pray: As we pray “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning s too deep for words.” As we wait we pray because in prayer we find the deep, rich communion with our heavenly Father we so desire.
The goal is to get more of God as we wait, and through His overwhelming grace He has given us these means (among many others) by which to do so. Let’s tap into the future realities of eternal life with King Jesus.