LENTEN CONNECTIONS 2016: Our Groanings

Lent: A Time to Prepare

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  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 8:20 – 23
The idea of groaning is not very popular these days.  Groaning is deep, visceral, noisy and vulnerable.  Our society encourages niceness, making the best of things, being positive and yet, each of us is aware of places in our spirit where we are desperate, disappointed and groaning.  The idea that creation is groaning with us, that Heaven is still not yet, can be very comforting some days and very jarring other days.  Have you ever had what is the “perfect” day and then been secretly miffed because you noticed the imperfections in spite of yourself?  A walk on a beautiful beach and you are rejoicing in God’s glory, when you walk by a dead bird, or a flapping plastic bag and boom, you are reminded of imperfection.  Or an amazing day with loved ones and everyone is enjoying it all, until the wrong word is spoken and poof, the moment is broken.  When these things happen to me, I am aware of a groaning deep inside that is sad, disappointed and oh, I want to go Home!  I want perfect beauty, I want Jesus.

 

There is something honest about groaning and it is hard to hide from—either from yourself or those around you.  I am walking through some deep waters these days and I can’t help but cry out and show my distress.  It is a comfort to know that this is not as good as it gets, that my Father understands how hard this is and that He is sharing in this with me.  I am encouraged to groan and wait and hope.

 

Romans 8:26 says,

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans words cannot express.

 

So as we continue in this season of Lent, may we remember that we are not yet at the end of the story.  May we continue to thank God for Good Friday, to praise and celebrate Easter Sunday and still remember that it is okay to groan and to keep looking forward to the return of Jesus, when He will fix it all—forever and ever.

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  Revelation 21 : 2-4  

 

Listen and express to God your longing for that Glorious day to come.

Glorious Day by Casting Crowns

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, Thank you for reminding me again that the best is yet to come.  I thank you Lord, that You understand my hurts and my longings and even more than that, You enter in with groaning of  Your own to help express  my deepest hurts and desires and fears.  Thank you that You care about the people and the things I care about most.  Thank you for being so faithful to remind  me to wait for You, to keep looking for You, even in moments of great joy and great beauty, so that  I see that Heaven is not here yet and keep looking to You.  Thank you Jesus, for providing the way, for caring about my cares and for giving me the hope that You are coming again and will make all things new, clean and perfect.  Help me as I walk the journey of today to trust You, praise You and seek Your plan.  In Jesus’ name,   Amen

 

Submitted by Sandy Kricken
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