Read Romans 8 before bed last night. Yum. There’s so much good stuff in that chapter. It begins with that powerful statement, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Then there’s all that stuff about the “Spirit of sonship” and being heirs with Christ, sharing in His suffering so might share in His glory. Awesome.
And that leads into my favorite part, starting in verses 18 and 19: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.” Another translation says that creation waits on tip toe.
Truth is, I don’t know exactly what this means. But I think I get the gist of it. It’s that for a long time now, things haven’t been right. Men and women have been seperated from God and because of that distance have made less of themselves. We’re not living up to our potential and it’s obvious to the entire universe. Not just the people, but even the animals and the rocks and the trees. I’m not sure whether or not to take that literally, but figuratively it’s powerful. Things are so out of whack that everybody and everything is waiting for the day—that day—when they finally look right again.
Look at 22-24: “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. For in this hope we were saved.”
I love this childbirth image. It’s like the world and everybody in it is pregnant. We’re in this painful, full, expectant, not exactly ourselves, liminal space, waiting for the birth of a new reality. I understand this image. With each of my pregnancies I spent all nine months thinking about the future, waiting for the new life I’d live as London or Eve’s mother. And when those babies were born, something was fulfilled in me. I became more than I’d been before—even more myself.
I think it’s cool, too, that salvation is located squarely inside the hoping—that we aren’t saved when Jesus comes back and our bodies are transformed, but that we’re saved now as we wait for “what we do not yet have.”
I hate to stop here because we get to even more great stuff further on—“all things work together for good” in 28 and then that great list of things that can’t seperate us from the love of God to close the chapter.
I think this is probably my favorite chapter in the Bible. It’s motivating and comforting and mysterious and beautiful. It speaks perfectly into life’s most trying moments as well life’s most boring. Romans 8 gives my waiting weight and purpose to my in the mean time.