Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will
reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future
day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will,
all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the
creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in
glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation
has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within
us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when
God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the
new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we
were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope
for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have,
we must wait patiently and confidently.)
As parents grieve such an unfathomable loss, the entire created world and all in it groans. As thousands each day face starvation and malnutrition, it groans. As evil continues trying to bring as much destruction as possible in this world, it groans. As countless people suffer at the hands of those with power and without compassion, it groans. As countless categories of people get the short end of the stick - the poor, the unborn, women, children, laborers, the homeless, widows, orphans, the hungry, the enslaved - this world, and all of us in it, groans for release from sin and suffering, for renewal and righteousness.
And somehow, even though I too have shed a fair number of tears this week and felt sick to my stomach relating to the pain of these parents loss, I am thankful to be reminded that we are only in the middle of the story. We are waiting, groaning, hoping, anticipating and longing for that day when Jesus will make all things new.
This is the question I am left considering this morning. How can I, who has the Spirit within me as a foretaste of future glory, be a source (or conduit?) of hope and restoration in this broken world? How can we?