The God Embrace 7: Love, Hope, and Delivery

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Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. ESV

Sometimes in the midst of difficulty we can feel like something must be wrong. We aren t naive. We know life is hard; but we don t expect it to be this hard. When we try to make sense of our sufferings, we can be tempted to think that God is angry with us or doesn t love us. In the darkest of times we might even question if He even exists.

I find the analogy of labor pains in this verse to be comforting. During labor, there are times when things seem relatively normal, and other times when things are painful even intolerable. There is some hope in the midst of a strong contraction that relief will come when the contraction stops, but the ultimate hope is in the delivery. When the baby comes so comes the end of the labor, the pregnancy, the morning sickness, etc. There is groaning before delivery and rejoicing after.

Like contractions, life has its ups and downs times of both happiness and hardship. If we put our hope in the end of a particular trial, another follows on its heels. And we find ourselves in the same pit of despair and questioning. Our ultimate hope cannot be in the end of the cycle of trials or in some amazing earthly deliverance that overshadows our hardships. This has been a time of groaning. It still is. The chapter goes on to assure us that things like tribulations, dangers, and even death don t mean that God doesn t love us. These things are just labor pains normal parts of life.

But the Lord will return and our labor will end. If our hope is set in the delivery, we won t be disappointed.


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