Tuesday was an exciting day! In the morning my sister gave birth to a baby boy, and that night my good friend gave birth to a baby boy as well. What a delight to see new life! I was reminded of the birth of my daughter. The moment I saw her and she was placed in my arms is burned in my memory and I’ll never forget it. It was a moment unlike any other I had experienced in my life. One overflowing with joy and love so strong I didn’t think possible.
While I was awaiting the news of the arrival of two new babies and thinking back to the birth of my own, I happened to be reading Romans 8. Paul is speaking about future glory, stating:
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. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Romans 8:18-22)
I have never experienced something more painful than childbirth. Paul says here that all of creation is experiencing pain similar to that. God created us to be in communion with Him, but we messed up. We have all sinned and in doing so separated ourselves from God; therefore, we cannot experience fully the glory of God during our time on Earth.
As Christians, we will face sorrows and hardships. We are promised pain and suffering. The good news is in Romans 8:17 Paul says “if we share in his sufferings, we may also share in his glory.” Tim Keller writes that “there is a glory coming that will be so blindingly powerful that when it falls upon us, it will envelop the whole created order and glorify it along with us – we will bring nature with us into a renewed, restored, redeemed reality.”
Sometimes you may be in the middle of some tough stuff and wondering, “is it really worth it?” Oh but future glory is. While childbirth was the most painful thing I have ever physically endured, it was nothing compared to the joy that flooded me when my sweet baby girl arrived. The comparison used in scripture of all of creation groaning as in the pains of childbirth could not be a better metaphor for the suffering we experience now that will one day be brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God! We can rest assured that this pain will lead to great joy, just as pains of childbirth lead to a precious baby.