Have you ever stared at the mountains and wondered how they got there? Or watched the waves of the ocean crash on the sand as if they were speaking to you? Maybe I’m a little crazy, but I think this world is screaming to tell us something.
It was still midnight black outside as David and I sat on the chairs overlooking the ocean. The sound of soft waves came trickling into the quiet house before the boys were awake. After our first cup of coffee we finally started to talk to each other. David spoke of a sermon he heard on his way to work describing the fall of creation. If you don’t know your bible text, Genesis 1 through 3 describes our less than perfect record here on earth as humans.
David went on to talk about the way the pastor described the fall of creation. Adam and Eve, the first people created by God, sinned in disobedience by eating from the tree of life and began to know good and evil. Because God is holy and without sin, he could no longer be in the presence of his creation that had sinned against him. There was separation between man and God. God, in his love, sent Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden. In the garden there was complete peace between animal and man. The psalms tell us the trees and mountains speak of their creator. As sin entered the world, man was put against animal, toiled the ground for food, and no longer heard the groans of the earth crying out to God.
Tears filled my eyes as David continued to walk me through the sermon he heard. Have you ever felt the weight of your sin? Have you ever wondered why we have to live like this? Why does it hurt so much? Then my mind turned to Elsa. She is only six months old, born with a defective chromosome and yet she can not even escape this world of sin, her sin. My heart hurt for us in that moment. The whole world is just longing with heavy anticipation for a rescuer. But who could be enough?
If we, as humans, are all separated from God through our own sinfulness than who is good enough? If you thinking you’re good enough, take a hard look. Are you really? Can you really do enough? Can I really do enough for Elsa, teach her, make her stronger, give her the right medications? No. It’s all just a chasing after the wind.
Psalm 14:3b says “there is none who does good, not even one.” Romans 3:23 repeats this. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
My mind went to think of Elsa and her intellectual abilities. We do not know what she can do or cannot do. She might be just as smart as her peers or she might have a lower IQ. Either way she still has the ability to know who God is and what he did for us. I thought more about why God would put a child like mine here on earth. Why would he make a child with so many complications, needs and attention, help and support here with us when he could have made a perfectly normal child? My heart was heavy again. My chest clinched with sadness for Elsa and sadness for our separation from our perfect creator. I looked out at the mountains now showing a whisper of clouds reaching up to an inch of light over the horizon.
Can I just say here how amazed I am that the old and new testaments all point to Jesus? In my sadness over sin I read back into Nehemiah 8. After returning from exile in Babylon, the Israelites returned to Jerusalem to hear the Book of the Law. Verse 9 says Ezra read to them and they all wept. The Israelites felt the weight of their sin. I could relate. As David spoke and I looked out our window I felt like my sin was as tall and wide and deep as the mountains staring back at me.
Nehemiah 8:9-11 continues. (Just a tip. Don’t take one scripture verse out of context. You will miss the big picture.) Verse 9 says Nehemiah told the people to stop mourning! He told them to eat, drink wine, share their food with the less fortunate, and rejoice. “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Let’s go back to the new testament. Romans 3 doesn’t stop at verse 23 either! It says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. You have to first feel your sin. Just like the Israelites did in the old testament. Verse 24, “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” We are declared righteous in the sight of God through the action of being saved by Jesus. Verse 25, “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” And God put Jesus forth as an atoning sacrifice through Jesus death and resurrection for our sin to be made right with God. This is all done for us if we receive it in faith in Jesus. WOW!!
Okay if I lost you don’t worry. I have been mulling this over in my head for quite some time. I don’t always feel the weight of my errors in life. Mostly I don’t and I think mostly you don’t either. That’s why we are born in our sin. It keeps us from seeing our misdirected ways. Thankfully as scripture continues to tell us in both the old and new testaments that Jesus was born into this world to die on the cross to make atonement and be our payment for sin. This is how we can be right with God. This is why Nehemiah says we can rejoice. We know that even though we see our sin clearly we have joy. Our joy is in the Lord.
I may not be happy all the time, but my soul is joyful because I can rest in the Lord. He is my strength. Even in the fallen world that we live, I have joy. Even as I take Elsa to therapy, specialty appointments, and sleep studies, I have joy because I know this world is sinful but there is always more. There is more for me and there is more for Elsa. This world of sin is not our home. We were made in the image of God to be with him forever, in a new home without sin. This gives us hope. This gives me joy when I’m not happy or Elsa is having a bad day. She was not made for this world. She was made for heaven. And she will be perfect when she meets her creator. Oh what a glorious day!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing 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 will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:18-25