I can’t sleep. I was doing okay, drifting off, until the fax machine that has called us periodically ever since we moved in decided to give us a ring. The baby is stirring anyway, so I may as well write until she realizes how hungry she is. I realized something myself yesterday. More like reminded, I suppose. I was reminded of just how dark the heart of man truly is. Just how steeped in sin, how tangled in pride, and how our hearts are riddled with the consequences. We truly are broken. I forget that sometimes. When the sun is shining and the birds are singing and life is skipping along, that happy rhythm can lull me into an acceptance of the world as it is; of life as we know it. I set aside thoughts of heaven and the difficult pursuit of true life in Christ because hey, maybe this world isn’t so bad after all. Maybe Adam just tripped and stumbled. But no. No, yesterday in my very own living room, I clearly heard the dull thud that has been reverberating in creation from generation to generation.
We are like wounded animals, as Matthew observes, crouching in our corners, lashing out at those who come near. And Christ alone is our hope. Only He can draw us out, and He does. But do you know what I find most wonderful about it? The greatest comfort to my soul? He does not merely dress our wounds and send us limping off on our way. He brings something far greater than healing alone. He brings redemption. A full exchange of what is worthless for what is most precious, of what is hideous for what is beautiful, or what is ours for what is His. He sets us free. Redemption. Speak the word aloud. Let your eyes linger over its letters. If it doesn’t set off fireworks in your heart then it will do so later, at another time, when your own reminder of our brokenness amplifies the groaning of your soul. For me this morning it brings to mind a thousand pictures and a thousand stories, all valiant attempts to capture a beauty that cannot be contained. But regardless how brilliant the colors of the butterfly and how zealous the cry of “Freedom!”, Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer. And He makes the woeful heart to sing.
“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Romans 8:19-25 ESV