Newsletter Devotional: Psalm 36:9 by Cole Harper

O LORD, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.

The groans and sighs we make under our breath are strange things. Despite our missing it, they’re cosmic giveaways. Silent shouts that God alone can hear. As clearly as a Labrador hears a dog whistle — when no one else can.

But they’re more than that. Our groans and sighs are almost a kind of worship, even if it’s by accident. Exhaled monuments to the fact that our lives... by themselves... were hopelessly ill-equipped to satisfy us. Like a kid swinging a yardstick sword and trash can lid shield fighting off the Luftwaffe on the roof of a London high-rise. Our children couldn’t satisfy us. Nor could our jobs. Or our spouse. Our home. Bank account. Dream vacation. Our meals, corn yield, or status. None of these turned us into things that no longer groan. And as odd as it may sound, that’s a good thing. Because it kept us from mistaking the current state of the world for home.

Home is where the risen Jesus resides. The better country the Prophets pointed to. If Jesus were in the South Side of New Jersey, then South Jersey would be home. If the risen Jesus were in a T.J. Maxx in Sioux Falls, guess what: That discount conglomerate across from Target is home. Right now we groan for heaven because, Jesus is there. That’s what makes it heaven. But one day, he’ll bring all of that heaven here. Not just the glimpses by virtue of his resurrection body sharing our matter, and his Spirit dwelling inside us.

That’s why Romans 8 says “Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God,” (Romans 8:19). That’s talking about what will happen to us when Jesus comes to make this popsicle stand right — and all of our deferred hopes and desires with it. So groans and sighs (vrs. grumbling) are a bizarre, but real means to inform the cosmos of something: That which is perfect has yet to come (1st Cor. 13:10). Which means the cliche “the best is yet to come,” isn’t just a folksy saying. It's actually true.

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