Creation Groaning and Awaiting

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Romans 8:18-25

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God. (v. 19)

Creation is groaning, says the apostle Paul, like a laboring mother giving birth. Creation has been subjected to futility, he states, not of its own will but because of human sin. The world God made is not able to achieve its potential, not able to be what God made it to be, because of our disobedience. The goals for creation remain unrealized. Creation groans.

But creation also waits with eager longing, like a child on tip-toes peeking through the keyhole to see what lies under the Christmas tree. With great anticipation creation awaits the revealing of the children of God. Creation waits with baited breath for us to get our image-bearing act together and be who God calls us to be – loving caretakers, tender earthkeepers, divine image-bearers who serve and protect creation.

The whole creation – human and nonhuman – is bound together. Our fate is held in common. Our destiny shared. Though by the fall we became alienated from the natural world, in redemption our relationship with the earth is being restored. As the old Christmas hymn puts it, redemption extends “far as the curse is found.” So let’s start being who God calls us to be.


O God, Redeemer of all things, open our ears to hear the groaning earth, and empower us to be earthkeepers.