|Milford Sound, New Zealand. August 2009.
I groan because the kitchen counter has piles and the floor still has crumbs from the past three meals. I grown when we have to take a trip to the potty as soon as the waitress brings us our food. I groan when things don’t go my way, people don’t respond like I wish they would, and my kids ask the same question for the sixth time in the past five minutes.
I groan way too much, way too loudly, and way too selfishly. And these groans of mine put all the attention on me.
My goals shouldn’t be to live in a spotless house, have a schedule that syncs perfectly with my expectations, or control reactions and behaviors of other people, including my kids. But too often, my actions and reactions say these — and other unattainable, meaningless ambitions — are my goal.
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
My goal is to please God.
My responses to my kids, my reactions to my husband, the way I love my friends, household chores, and our schedule and its interruptions should please God. I should please God in my mini van, at my house, in the restaurant, at the playground, in the church sanctuary, and everywhere else in between.
God moves while we wait. We are changed while we wait. Our selfish groans can become holy groans while we wait. Groaning for heaven gives God glory in this world.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
We wait in anticipation for God’s glory to be revealed. We do what we can while we’re here so we can please him. It’s like standing up on your tip toes, waiting for the first glimpse of the One you’ve been waiting to reveal his whole self. It’s like waiting at an airport, just on the other side of the security gate, for your loved one who has been gone too long.
God’s timing is always worth the wait. I imagine his full glory will be too.
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