“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.”—Romans 8:22 (ESV)
This world can be dreadful. Darkness always surrounds us. Misery also marks our faces with its own stretch marks. This world can tear us apart; it can fill our eyes with tears.
Pain is all over, death stalks us like a vulture hoovering over its prey. Our bodies are diseased, our loved ones are just hanging on because of life support, our kids have fallen off the deep end—at least morally—and tribal tensions are on the rise.
Malice and false accusations in the workplace, jealousy between siblings, addictions to porn and drugs and perverted sexual behaviour mark our lives. Death, caused by sin, stares us right in the face every day.
Life is hard, sin is real and death is inevitable. This place we call home is a place washed in tears, tears of pain. We cry and ask God why it had to be us. We lay in our beds and stare at the ceiling unaware of whether we will amount to anything amidst this violent and deadly environment. Everyone but me has a gun.
When tears come, let them flow. Mourn your pain and groan about it. Because our cries are a sign that things are not as they should be. Our mourning is a declaration that all creation is amiss, that Genesis 3 didn’t leave us the same.
But when we hide our pain and tears, we also declare something: that things are okay, that they are as they should be and that this world needs no redeeming.
God’s children know that things are not as they should be, so they hope for a better world. We groan in hope and anticipation, like a mother in labour, we groan in pains of childbirth knowing that out of it will come something new—a new and better and perfect world.
Therefore, those tears flowing down your cheeks are your Maranatha cries. For we all cry “come back Lord and put things right. Come back and make all things new.” In that, we glorify our Saviour and Redeemer who alone can put things right.
But also, our tears are a way of holding on to the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. “For in this hope we were saved”, says Paul (Rom 8:24). Our hope is in Christ who will deliver to us the New Earth—a better place, perfect and free from sorrow, pain and death caused by sin. There we will be with our Lord because He has promised:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:1-5a)
That is your Lifeline, AMEN.