It was just over 150 years ago that Queensland’s first telegram network was first used. With our modern technology, it’s hard to imagine just how revolutionary this was, to send a message and actually expect it to be received the same day. Now we expect everything to be instantaneous. We can watch a sporting event live on the other side of the planet. We can order an airline ticket and have it sitting in our email before we have time to look. It almost seems that something like patience is rapidly becoming a quaint product of a bygone era.
But we know that in our Christian walk, there is much we can only anticipate, and must wait patiently to be fulfilled. Yes, sin has been defeated through Christ, but we still struggle with it in this life. Yes, we are in God’s Kingdom now, but we are not yet with God in Heaven. There is much of God’s promises that we must patiently await in hope.
Indeed, the whole creation shares with us in this, as Paul reminds us of our need for patience and hope:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.