For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons—the redemption and transformation of our body.
Our Christian walk is all about transformation. There is the moment of justification, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and become spiritually born again. This is an instant change by which our eyes are opened, and we begin to see the reality of the physical and spiritual worlds around us. Once saved, the process of sanctification continues to transform us. Whether one spends a day, a year or 50 years walking as a born again Christian in this life, our sanctification continues as long as we are alive. However, that is not the final transformation. There is more change to come. Just as justification gives us a hunger for sanctification, a craving to delve into the things of God and learn more of him, sanctification gives us a hunger for the next transformation. That is the change we will experience when we leave these imperfect earthly bodies and are clothed with our new selves.
In this scripture, our desire to be physically transformed from imperfect to perfect is compared to the longing of the physical world to be released from the curse under which it has been placed. This is described as the moaning that is heard when the pains of childbirth are felt. This is no mild longing. For those of us who have never experienced it, we can only imagine the longing of the mother who has been waiting for her child to come. As she endures labor and the pain that comes along with it, she desperately wants to deliver and see her baby. The whole of creation feels this same desperation to be released from the claws of imperfection. We also should feel such desperation to be released from the imperfection that enfolds us. Our souls and spirits have been redeemed, but our bodies are still waiting. For this redemption we wait with the desperation of the mother in labor who longs to see the child she knows is coming.
There are many things that Scripture repeatedly instills in us. One of those is the fact that God does not want us to get too attached to the condition in which we currently live. This includes the physical world in which we live, the government and rule under which we live, and these physical bodies. All of these will pass away. They may bring us trouble in the here and now, but that trouble will pass as well. Some are physically confined by the imperfect bodies that do not allow them to function as they wish they could. But this is only for a time, as we have the promise of redeemed bodies awaiting us. We should be desperately longing for that transformation. When today’s shadow of a body reminds you of your imperfection, look forward to the perfect self that awaits. Father, thank You that the imperfect shells in which we live are only temporary and will be replaced with perfection one day.