Devotional for Monday, July 30, 2012
Twilight: The Groans of the Spirit
by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
By God’s Word and Spirit the world was made, and he uses the same tools to rebuild the creaking cosmos. God does not save some souls from the wreckage of the planet; instead, the whole groaning creation must be delivered from bondage by the love and power of God.
The Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Rom. 8:26).
The pain of this present world may not dull our anticipation of the coming redemption. In fact, the world's adversities must be interpreted as the birth pangs of the new age. Sweat and tears are not proof that the world is dying but evidence that new life is coming.
Three times Paul speaks of groaning. The whole creation groans, the believers groan, and then the Holy Spirit groans.
Three concentric circles are pushing, moaning, and longing for the new world to come. The widest circle is the whole cosmos, groaning to get out of its prison of decay (v. 21). Within this widest circle is the circle of believers. We are the ones who have tasted the liberty of the promised land. We "groan inwardly" and "wait eagerly" for the "redemption of our bodies" (v. 23). And in the center of this circle of pain and hope is the Holy Spirit. He is the "white hole" of our universe. The Spirit groans and intercedes for us, praying for the new world to come.
The movement for redemption and renewal that keeps the old world on tiptoe is propelled from the center by the Spirit of God. He is the beginning of the new world in the heart of the old. And by the Spirit's prayers for us - wordless groans that God understands - he opens up the future to us and us to the future.