Lifting our Eyes
Wow! What a start to the year! Last month I began by reflecting on the on-going challenge of the Omicron wave of the Covid pandemic. Then in the past couple of weeks our attention has been consumed by the horror of the unfolding devastation taking place in Ukraine. I know that so many of us have been praying earnestly that God would graciously intervene. Then of course, with the last weekend in February, the Southeast of our State has been hit by what they are calling “a torrential rain bomb”! The costs to lives, livelihoods and property has been enormous. And all of this has only added to the sense of despair that many in our wider society have been feeling.
Indeed, there are many who seem to be groaning under the weight of it all at the moment. But I’m reminded that in Romans 8:22 the Apostle Paul tells us that “the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, right up to the present time.” And it seems that we are daily seeing the evidence of that all around us. But then he goes on to says, “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” He says, not only is the creation groaning, we who have the Spirit of God living within us, also groan. To be sure we are hearing a lot of groaning all around us at the moment. But the groaning of the child of God comes from a different concern than that of the rest of the world. The world generally groans because life is not fair; things are tough; people are not treating us like we deserve. But Paul says, we groan because we are waiting for “our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”
Now, what is he saying here? We groan because we know that we are not yet made fully perfect or holy. We still struggle with the world, the flesh and the devil. But there is coming a day when we will finally see Jesus face-to-face. And then, and only then, we will be finally and forever made perfect as we’re told in 1 John 3:2-3.
But Paul wants us to realise that this daily battle in which we are engaged has a glorious and assured outcome! Why, because there is another who groans for us with perfect groaning. That One is he Holy Spirit who “himself intercedes for us with wordless groans.” And his intercession for us is always in accordance with the perfect will of God, the God who “in all things works for the good of those who love him” for those who “have been called according to his purpose” (Rms 8:28).
Surely if there was anything that should encourage us to keep our eyes lifted up, even in the midst of challenging times, it is the assurance that the God of all the universe is “in our corner” so to speak. He is constantly interceding for us. Surely then we can be confident that, “he who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to complication until the day of Christ Jesus”, that glorious day when we will see Jesus face-to-face. Let’s keep looing up. God is powerfully at work among us!
Peter Francis – Principal