God makes it clear that He hates sin. It separated us from His Holiness and from relationship from Him. But He loved us enough to send His Son as the One, the only One, set apart to take away the sins of the world. It is incredible that it was God's intention from the moment sin entered his perfect creation that He would redeem it. It has been called the "Greatest Story Ever Told" and it is. Written on scrolls, and eventually finding it's way to a printing press, we get the whole story, the crimson thread that runs through the pages of Scripture culminating in the final Revelation, the Day of the Lord for which we long.
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly 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 also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (Romans 8:19-26)
Sin did more than separate us from God. It literally changed the world he created. It change ecosystems and introduced the consequences of sin upon the earth and the created on the earth. That included sickness to people I love and people I don't know, not caused by "a" sin but because sin spread like a virus scarring God's perfection and infecting the "sons of man." They are people I pray for---and I always ask for healing.
Sometimes I groan for those whose bodies are sick---emotionally sick or physically, both can be life-threatening and devastating. But I have HOPE and with perseverance I will wait eagerly. Waiting eagerly is hard. Waiting seems to be a non-active kind of thing to do but put the word eager with waiting and that changes everything about it.
Over the past few months, God has called me to more and more intercessory prayer and it has caused me to have wait and trust more than anything else that I "do" with Jesus. I realize that sometimes the anxiousness of my prayers actually is the eagerness of my waiting, the sure hope I have that God is working and that He will respond to prayer and I can praise Him and glorify Him for His answers.
This is what I am learning: it is not just the answers that I desire that make prayer valuable. It is the gift of prayer. It is the opportunity to put people before the God who loves them, knows them, and has a plan for their life. It blesses Him but it blesses me more because it reminds me that He is not unaware of what sin has done to this world and to our human bodies. Jesus became "like us" yet without sin. He understands the pain and it breaks His heart.
Somehow, as I have learned to intercede, those things that break the Lord's heart, break mine as well. The difference I realized lately compared to my prayer life in the past is that although I can empathize or sympathize, I can leave it to the God of hope. I leave it with God with hope. And incredibly, it is a hope that stays with me throughout the my days of praying without ceasing. It is not the world's hope but the sure hope, rooted and anchored in the truth that redemption is near. God is not slow about his promises. He will answer.
So today, as I pray for the sick and the hurting, I thank you God for the promise from Romans 8:26.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;I'm praying. I don't have to write their names. This morning it's just too deep. Thank you Holy Spirit for stepping in the gap with me. How precious is that!