This was the second reading this morning in worship for the Feast of Pentecost. I love this whole passage. Today a phrase jumped out at me from these verses.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:22-23)
We are “groaning in labor pains”. Don’t you feel that way sometimes? Groaning and growing inwardly
towards….something? What? It is the unanswered question that sometimes gets to me. If I at least knew what I am growing towards, then, maybe, the unanswered piece wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable. I know the end answer is my final reconciliation with God. But it also feels like the labor pains are alerting me to new ideas and new possibilities in this life – now.
As both a parent and someone who works with children, I see this questioning happening in most of our children. The questioning seems to begin around middle school and doesn’t slow down until young adulthood.
(And in my case middle adulthood!)
Knowing my own frustration with questions of purpose, I believe they must experience similar frustration. How can we help them be patient in waiting for answers? What conversations may be helpful as they wonder about the gifts God has given them and how to use them in the world? How do we let them know that this inward groaning is God nudging them toward discernment?
For me, peace comes in the purpose of this feast day of Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been given to us to accompany each of us on this journey. She is there giving encouragement during times of
clarity and comfort in the uncertainty. Thank God we are not alone!
So my prayer this day is: Come, Holy Spirit. Come!