For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
—Romans 8:19 ESV
I can’t tell you why this summer has been a trial for me. We have a great new church with so much promise. My business is starting to accelerate. My wife is well regarded at work and has a vision for her departments. Our son is precocious, smart, and filled with life. And yet I’ve struggled through the last two months with a disconnected feeling that usually foreshadows uncertainty. I’ve never been on friendly terms with that feeling.
My wife told me the other day that life is truly happy for her right now. You’d think that would be enough to snap me out of the funk, but it only buoyed me for the afternoon. The floral colors around me seem dim, every moment of clarity ends in wistfulness, and the chocolate in the ice cream tastes artificial.
Today as I was outside picking a bounty of blackberries that quadrupled our haul from last year, the Lord spoke to me and let me know my problem was that I’m restless awaiting my revealing.
Most of this summer has been oddly dry. I can watch the storms that have drenched Cincinnati part as if cleaved by a massive, invisible hatchet, then pass to the north or to the south, but skipping my little neck of the woods in the distant east. I haven’t mowed my grass in three weeks because it can’t grow without the rain.
But this week the rain clouds held together and hit us dead center. The result has been a massive greening of all the foliage that was brown and dust-caked. Nature woke up and applauded.
The Scriptures tell us that a thirsty Creation longs for more than just water, though. Ultimately its true hope is to see us children of God come into our own. It is out in the seats while we are waiting in the wings. To us players, the question that is always on our minds is, Is it time?
We are waiting our revealing. We are yearning for the day when our name is called and we walk out on that stage to take our bows—the director clapping loudest of all. Each one of us who has been called to act in the greater drama that is the Christian walk longs for that final reward as much as Creation languishes waiting for us to receive it.
I am not there. In fact, whenever I meet a man my age who is clearly far ahead of me, I know that it is my fault and never the Lord’s. Sanctification is a partnership with God. God will give us as much of His enabling grace for it as we are willing to accept, but too many of us are preoccupied with what is passing away.
Yet even if I know that I’ve frittered away time and opportunities because I was lost in my own feeble kingdom, nothing can take away the cry of the heart that says, “Father show the full revelation of your Son in my life by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I covet that far more than Creation does, and though my heart is heavy, it is only so because I know that I am still hidden, waiting in the wings.
I will not be ashamed, nor should any of you be, for all that we are is by the grace of God, even when that grace has had to shore up the building when it’s threatened to fall. The builder is still the Lord and He knows what He is doing.
The berries are bursting, but the taste is not perfection. Only at the marriage supper of the Lamb will they stop their groaning and revel in the sons of God.
Take heart and prepare to walk out on stage when your name is called. The ovation will be glorious.