Romans 8:12-25 has a lot to offer us in this season of life. We are tossed about with worries within and stressors around us. It may seem like we are constantly getting hit by something new or blindsided by something we thought was already taken care of in life. We look ahead to the rest of 2020 with concern for ourselves, our families, and our nation and the world. But there is another option.
For those of us who are Christ-followers, we do not pretend that things are not difficult and painful. We still have death and disease in our lives. But, that is not all there is…we do not eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die. No, we have a hope within us that transcends the “reality” around us. We know that we have a Father who cares for us (8:15). And we have someone who prays with us, the Holy Spirit (8:16). We know that whatever we are going through is not the destination. It is simply a part of the journey.
A while back, our eldest grand daughter had a baby…our great-grandbaby. And while we were not there for the birth, it is reasonable to assume that she suffered some birth pains. But she knew that with the pains came a promise that after all was done, she would have a baby in her hands. She knew that having the baby would be worth all the pain she would endure (8:18-19).
The Scriptures teach us that like her, we groan for an end to this struggle. We know and hope for a happy ending to the pain we are suffering now. And we believe that it will be fine someday…but today is tough. Let’s read these verses:
8:22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 8:23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 8:24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
And so we wait…in the emergency rooms, the waiting rooms, the living rooms…we wait for the end of the groaning and pain. We wait, as believers, with tear-stained eyes, wait for what we hope for knowing that hope will not be disappointed because of the One we hope in, Jesus.
I don’t know where you are, dear one, but I know Jesus knows your exact location. I can assure and promise you that you are not alone no matter what you feel or think. And it is okay if you cry or scream or whimper. Someone has said that tears are silent prayers, so pray away. The groaning and pain will pass eventually. The horrible pain you feel will dissipate like mist in the morning and you will see Him face to face. But until then, we suffer, not in silence and not alone, but in hope and with Jesus. Amen.