“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” Romans 8:22
When you face loss, you realize the world groans awaiting redemption. Waiting. Enduring. Women understand this groaning better than men do. Paul, in Romans 8:22, compares this groaning of the whole creation to the pains of childbirth. I’ve heard it’s painful. I don’t pretend to understand. Apparently, it’s all-consuming. Again, enduring pain.
Not the way it was supposed to be.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
The story of creation, chronicled in Genesis 1, was a story of good delivered by the hand of God. In the beginning, in fact, God declared what he had created was good. And then Adam, and subsequently all mankind, fell hard and ugly. One man.
Never underestimate the impact of your response to anything. Feel the weight of responsibility. Never underestimate the impact of your response to your loss.
Never underestimate the impact of one person’s decision to respond the way they respond.
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
With the fall of man, instant spiritual death became a reality. Likewise, gradual physical death became a reality. Further, ultimate eternal death became a reality.
On that day, all of humanity for all of time experienced spiritual death. Our new starting point was a groaning world, a groaning existence. What was good was tainted by the bad. Spiritual death entered the world and became the common existence for all of us. Me. You. The whole world. On our heels.
“So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 11:8
On that day, all of humanity was introduced to gradual physical death. The day of birth is the beginning of the end. Death awaits all who are born because of the response of Adam, of one man. Decay was introduced to our experience. A slow demise is in the future of mankind. Our bodies slow and weaken. Death awaits us all. It’s gradual, but it’s real. Days of darkness will be many.
Finally, on that day, ultimate eternal death was introduced as the destination for all mankind. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). That destination of ultimate eternal death is not inevitable for every person. Through Christ, God has made a way of rescue. Christ died for the groaning world.
“You live in a fallen world that itself groans, waiting for redemption.” Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies
My experience underscored an awakening to realize my world was a groaning world. My world was a broken world. My world was a sin-scarred world. My world was in need of redemption, of rescue, of restoration.
“In my groaning, I joined a chorus of groaning that is billions strong.” Jerry Sittser, A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life
Allow loss to reveal your world is the groaning world; allow the gospel to reveal God’s answer to your groaning, broken, sin-scarred world. Walk by faith in this groaning, broken world and refuse to walk by sight alone.
“Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning.” Psalm 5:1
“I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them…” Acts 7:34