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From Groaning to Glory
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“We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth” (Romans 8:22).

I believe that God can hear them--the groans coming from cyclone victims of the Myanmar misery. He hears the groans of hungry mothers and children waiting in line with bowls and buckets, hoping for food. He hears the groans of a lone boy staring near a flooded field where his home once stood. He hears the groans of a homeless family with three children—all their belongings in one basket and two bags, searching for shelter. He hears the groans of countless mothers as they find their children dead in the flood waters. And these groans are just a fraction of the many rising from a country where 62,000 are dead or missing.

God also hears the groans coming from earthquake victims of the China catastrophe. He hears the groans of a young woman, her eyes full of fear, struggling alone to free herself from the concrete layers trapping her. He hears the groans of a pregnant woman being evacuated from a hospital as she clutches the stretcher, ready to give birth. He hears the groans of parents standing outside the Juyuan Middle School, waiting in the rain as rescuers write the names of the dead on a chalkboard. Again, these groans are just a fraction of those rising from a country mourning its 12,000 dead and the untold thousands who are still trapped.

Experiencing Birth Pains

In times like these, our world seems to be out of control. Both the fearful and those longing ask, “Could this be the end?” Jesus’ disciples once asked what would be the sign of His coming. Part of His answer was, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:7, 8). No doubt we’re experiencing these birth pains.

I know what birth pains are like. They woke me up at 1:00 AM on the day our daughter was born. And I spent the next eleven hours experiencing pain like I’d never known. And I longed for the pain to be over so I could hold the child I’d waited so long for.

At times we may feel that God is ignoring our plight. But earth’s seemingly endless groaning does not go unheard. It is heard by the One who gave His life for all its inhabitants. The One who hears our groans will someday come back for us. And just as I forgot my birth pains the moment our daughter was placed in my arms, all our earthly pain will be forgotten when we see Jesus coming to rescue us. As Romans 8:18 says, “I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us.” Someday Jesus will turn our groaning into glory—eternally.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ® and the Contemporary English Version

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