There has been much to moan and groan about in recent days. We continue to face a world in which evil and inexplicable acts of hatred are carried out against the innocent. I will not pretend in this blog to have all the answers. What I hope to do is simply bring a Biblical word of wisdom that helps you move through the questions, doubts, fears, and struggles that acts of evil and hatred cause for us all.
Romans 8:22-25 sheds some light on what living in the midst of an evil world is like.
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 to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
All creation groans in the realities of the “pains of childbirth” is a reminder of the price of sin. (Sin means to not do what is right. Often it is defined as doing what is wrong, but that falls short. God’s standard is not the absence of wrong but the existence of right.) Sin entered into the world a long time ago and the world, itself, has never been the same since. And that world groans under and in the burden of that sin. Creation itself groans and moans out against and in the pain sin causes.
We have the common thought that the consequences of sin should be felt by those who commit the wrong and no one else…a direct result. Sin does have direct result, but it is also has many indirect results. The indirect results to sin are so widespread we live in a world that is often oblivious to the moaning and groaning around them. Unfortunately the majority of people only hear the moans and groans at times when the volume of such pain is to high to ignore.
Often we pretend that faith means there is no place for moaning and groaning. Faith, however, is the best place to express such pain. The moans and groans of those without faith are without hope. The groaning of the faithful is the expression of hope in the midst of real pain.
Without faith, we moan and groan inwardly against the evil we see. And it is empty, hollow, and painful. People try to prevent further evil as if laws will make people love people and as if legislation will somehow rid the world of the exercise of evil. And we groan and moan more desperately and more loudly the further we go along life’s road.
We, who have faith in Christ, we should moan and groan along with and in the midst of this world. We should, however, moan differently. We do not moan and groan against the evil we cannot change but in and for the hope we cannot lose.
Yes, such evil will one day end, but that day might not be today. I do not know why it is not today, and thus, I join in the moaning and groaning. Yet I choose to moan with hope that there is a new morning coming…a morning without mourning. A day when the sun will not split the skies…but the Son of God will. And redemption will be moaned for no longer.
So, everyone, moan. All of you, groan, for it is right. Yet know we have a choice in life. We can moan against what ails us or we can groan in anticipation of what saves us.