The Groan

29 07 2012

“There is at the center of reality, a groan.” –Fred Craddock

We all know what it is. It’s the language we use when pain cannot be expressed by words. It’s the groan. When our whole body aches with the flu, we groan. When a serious accident has the driver pinned in a would-be death trap, all he could do is groan. When we hear of an uncle, cousin, friend, son, or father killed in war, we hurt so deeply that all we could do, is groan. Even in prayer, we could hurt so much as we intercede for another, all we could do, is groan. Romans 8:22 tells us “that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Everybody understands pain. Everybody understands the groan. The life of the believer and the lost intersect each other at the point of pain. The closer we get to people, the more we will be able to hear the groan that they carry deep inside of them. We don’t like to talk about it, we prefer to hide it, but’s there. We will not share our groan with anyone unless we could fully trust them. It’s personal. It’s sometimes more intense in some than in others, but it is always there. Romans 8:23 tell us that, “Even we ourselves groan within ourselves.” It is “within”. It is our “private pain”. We all agree to the reality of the groan. They are also found in Romans 8.

1. The Holy Spirit understands the language of pain. Sometimes we don’t know how to pray. We don’t know what to say. All we could do is groan. The Holy Spirit hears us, He understands, He knows our heart, and He interprets our needs to the Father. Verse 26 tells us that, “He maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Coming before God is necessary, words are optional. Thanks be to God, He knows how to articulate the groan. He understands our situation better than we do; He sees the big picture. He “helpeth our infirmities”: He understands our fatigued bodies, our distracted minds, our poor concentration. He overrides our prayers when we ask for something unwisely, because “we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” Dear child of God, if you hurt so badly that your ar at a loss for words, just do before your Father, and groan. He understands.

2. We groan in hope. Check out verse 28 in context. We know that all (of our reasons for groaning) will turn out for good if we (the groaners) love God and are called according to His purpose. We groan in hope of a better day. We groan as a woman in labor, whose pain will soon give birth to good (verse 22). The pain, the groan, could be the groan of childbirth. God is giving birth to something new. Even our body will be delivered from its intensifying groan (verse 23). We are saved by hope, we groan in hope, even if we can not see the light at the end of the tunnel (verse 24).

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