The Hope of What is Not Yet

Romans 8: 22 – 25

“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.”

Having endured both childbirth and kidney stones, I am regularly asked which pain is worse. My typical response is that it is like comparing apples and oranges. But the main difference is that the pain of labour and delivery comes with the hope of it being more than worth it when you hold your newborn in your arms. A healthy baby brings joy like nothing else.

Paul’s illustration of creation groaning as in the pain of childbirth is both an affirmation of the pain and suffering that comes in the waiting and the promise of the newness that comes with the fullness of redemption.