Not Home Yet: Creation Frustrated

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:22-23)

Huge idea here: Christians aren’t complete. Sometimes we mislead people, I think, when we talk about the God-shaped hole inside of each of us. We imply that when someone becomes a Christian, that hole gets filled up and we never feel empty again.

nothome_350I don’t think that’s true. Paul here clearly says that we Christians “groan inwardly” – just like the frustrated creation all around us that is experiencing intense pain similar to a woman giving birth. That doesn’t sound to me like people who are always perfectly satisfied in this life.

It is true that God has saved us, that our God-shaped hole has been filled with His Spirit as a deposit, as a source of comfort, joy, hope, love, and peace. It’s true that we have access to a whole new level of happiness as we live in God’s will. But it is also true that we will never be fully complete and satisfied until we are with God in person, face to face.

That’s what Paul means when he mentions the “redemption of our bodies.” We were created to be with God, and we will be fully complete when he wipes every tear from our eyes and declares that his dwelling is now with us forever.

Think: Have you ever thought there was something wrong with you as a Christian because you still feel something like an inner “groaning,” like something is missing? Does this passage help you to understand that groaning won’t be all the way gone until we are all the way home with our Father?

Pray: Thank God that one day you will be with him in person forever and the groaning will stop.

Do: Read about that moment in Revelation 21:1-5.