For we know that the whole creation has been together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation but we ourselves … groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons and daughters, the redemption of our bodies.
- Romans 8:22-23
With winter, oftentimes, comes sickness. Chances are, either you or someone you know has been sick at some point in these last few months. Whether it’s a nasty cold, laryngitis, or even the flu, we all know the feeling of being sick, and the feeling of anticipation over feeling healthy again. When you’re stuffed up, all you want is to be able to breathe out of both nostrils again; when you’re up in the bathroom all night, all you want is the freedom to eat anything without feeling nauseous.
Sickness causes us to eagerly anticipate the day we’ll be healthy again.
In many ways, we as believers are aware that creation itself is eagerly anticipating being healthy again. We see hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and a myriad of other natural disasters ravaging homes and communities. We see droughts and barren land, people breaking their backs over soil that will not produce the food necessary to feed their families. On a deeply personal and human level, we see mothers and fathers weeping over their children’s tombstones; families being torn apart by divorce and abuse; poverty and disease sweeping through the most vulnerable of countries. From the outside, it would seem as though this sickness is too far along to ever be cured.
Then enters Christ.
We know that He came and is coming soon to make all things new in and through Him. Revelation 21:3 gives us a beautiful picture of the healing power and promise that Jesus gives us to cling to: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3).
This healing power of Jesus is so much bigger than ourselves. He came to redeem your story, to bring you into a life-saving relationship with Him, but - and here’s the bigness of our God - He also came to redeem all of creation. He came to bring Heaven down to earth.
Look at one of the key prayers Jesus taught us to pray: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven…” (Matthew 6:10). He came to show us His redemptive power here on Earth: our own salvation, our families reaching reconciliation, hearts of stone softening over time through prayer...there are so many examples we as believers have of the power Jesus has to turn the bleakest of circumstances into hopeful ones. But Jesus won’t stop there.
He gives us an ultimate hope, the grandest promise of all of eternity in His presence. The Father assures us that the ultimate sickness - sin - will be healed forever. 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 sums it up beautifully: “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God … eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house [on Earth] we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven..” Deep down, we know that our ultimate home is in the presence of our Savior, all of creation made whole again.
1. What do you think about when you hear the word “Heaven”? How does your understanding of Heaven change when you see that Christ came to bring Heaven to earth, too?
2. What are some places of brokenness you’ve witnessed recently? Homelessness? Abuse? Poverty? Natural disasters? I’d like to challenge you to begin praying over one of those areas, to ask Jesus to break through and make Himself known in those places
Jesus, thank You for who You are. You are the Healer, the Savior, the Redeemer, and You came to save not just me, but everything You created. I pray that You would broaden the horizons of my understanding of You. Jesus, give me eyes to see Your work all around me. Thank You for the hope of Heaven, thank You for the promise that one day I will get to meet You face-to-face. Give me strength in the meantime. Draw me closer to You, and teach me to look and love more like You every day. Thank You, Jesus, for Your grace. In Your name, Amen.
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Artwork: Katie Humphress