Three months have passed since my last post. In that time, I have wrestled both with the time to write and the “what” to write. This morning, I felt inspired as I reflected on last night’s speech by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa. He outlined measures that the South African government will take to combat the Coronavirus.
In talking with others, I know there is much fear and anxiety as we watch the world, even our very lives, changing in very dramatic ways. As Christians, we are invited to tread in a precarious space, one where we hold realities of the present in tension with hope for the future. Romans 8:18-28 gives us great perspective. I share with you some of my reflections and invite you to spend time meditating on this encouraging passage.
The earth, indeed all of creation, is less than it was meant to be. It has been subjected to futility. It’s efforts cannot produce the desired or intended results. It falls short of that for which it was made and of that which it was made to be because it is a slave to corruption. But God will bring freedom even as God brings freedom to His children. When we are what we are meant to be, so will all of creation be restored and free. What a glorious hope!
At the same time, there is a reality in our suffering. The creation groans. We ourselves groan within. We groan because suffering is painful; and we long for something better, something yet to come. The waiting is hard. The experience is hard. But, we are not without hope, and so, we persevere. We hang on to the promise, the promise of redemption, of glory yet to come.
This is the reality of our existence, the tension between the “now” and the “not yet.” We must learn to live at the center of these two opposites, pulled and held by both. Like Moses standing on the mountain at the gate of the Promised Land, we see it, we smell it, we taste it, but we are not there yet. And so, we feel the heat of the desert and the dust caked upon our skin. We know the dryness of thirst not yet quenched while we long for the drink that will satisfy our deepest desires. We see it. We smell it. We taste it from afar. But, we have not yet arrived. And so, we wait, not as the downcast and defeated. We wait as those destined for victory, heads held high, step by step persevering, following the One who suffered and now sits in the glory of victory. Jesus overcame suffering, and so too, shall we!