What Does It Mean That Creation Groans?

In the waiting and anticipation of a newborn child, we see a picture of Christ and His work on the cross.

What Does It Mean That Creation Groans?

Last Monday my wife and I welcomed another little boy to our world. He was born at 12:45 in the afternoon and like all of us, came into the world through danger and pain, arriving blue and gasping in the pumped air of the hospital. I suppose some aspects of this, speaking as a helpless bystander, have gotten easier, but the stress feels the same.

Surrounded by midwives and nurses, medical equipment and monitors of every sort, I feel stressed, bored, tired and completely useless. There is no experience that I bring to the table. There is no advice I can give and absolutely no problem within those four walls that I can solve except perhaps companionship for my wife and that may not be the most appreciated.

My wife has the most impressive pain tolerance of any person I have been around. Her calm and composure during all this is so impressive that it has always been a little unsettling for the medical staff. They don’t know how to gauge the progress and I am repeatedly telling them that she is farther along than they think. This is the one thing I am right about, but since no one should trust me, they often don’t.

So the room was quiet. So quiet that at some point we all became aware of one of those usually nondescript background noises that had pushed itself to the forefront and become deafening. The RN walked over and switched the heater on the bassinet tower thingy (official medical terminology) and the room returned to stillness. I told my wife after that I was about to ask her if she wanted me to play some death metal on my phone (completely out of character for my wife) just to break the stillness. She started laughing and said I should have.

So we waited in a (pardon me) pregnant silence. So much waiting. So much expectation and anticipation to meet this little man who had been with us for nine months now, but whom we had never seen and couldn’t accurately imagine. Our son, as each of the four have been and the two we lost, were the anticipation of potential. It is the present still unopened. The meal on the table waiting to be enjoyed and the salvation that is promised but not yet manifest.

The Bible says that all of creation groans like a woman in labor, waiting for the adoption of sons. Waiting to become full breathing, crying, hurting, laughing, smiling members of His family. I cannot think of a better example of being held in suspension waiting for redemption than those moments in that hospital room with the humming of equipment, the rustle of medical garments and shuffling of feet. We were all there waiting for the official “adoption” of Aksel into the Howard family.

The truly beautiful thing is that it didn’t matter what state his body or mind was when he was born. He was ours. Disfigured, or with cognitive or physical disability he would still have been ours. There was no scenario where we would have taken a first look at him and thought, “no thanks, we’ll be going now.” He was adopted into our family the moment he was conceived and then officially when he made his entrance into the world.

The Bible says that all of creation groans like a woman in labor...until now. We have the adoption as sons and daughters into Christ’s kingdom through His sacrifice on the cross. It does not matter how we came to Him.

It did not matter what kind of disfigurement, cognitive challenges or emotional baggage because we were bought with a price and when we accepted that and repented, we were born into His family. We have been waiting in helpless boredom, stress, tiredness and uselessness until He came and became sin for us and died on the cross to take our punishment for our separation from God.