Groan

We all get them. Cute stories or jokes from well-meaning friends, who we afterwards wish weren’t so friendly.
One friend sent me ten puns, all in one email. He must have really been wanting to wrap up a long-time relationship.
I’ll inflict only one on you, the least of the evils.
A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and met in the lobby where they were discussing their recent victories in chess tournaments. The hotel manager came out of the office after an hour and asked them to disperse. He couldn’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.
As I read, I groaned. When I finished all ten, I groaned some more.
But this groan has nothing to do with other, deeper, more painful groans.
Like the groan of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage (Exodus 2:23).
Or Job’s groaning, “poured out like water,” under the weight of his suffering (Job 3:24).
Or the groaning of people “when the wicked rule” (Proverbs 29:2).
Not only people groan. Paul wrote that “we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (Romans 8:22).
Of all people, Christians groan.
Yes, we are happy and joyful beyond belief. But we, “who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23).
Our “groanings too deep for words” in our inadequate prayers are carried and translated by the Holy Spirit before God’s throne (Romans 8:26).
As healthy and lithe as we may be, we still groan in our bodily tents, “longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,” as Paul puts it, “so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:2,4).
This life is good and we are grateful, but compared to our inadequacies in this life and the brilliant glory of the God whose life we will share in eternity, we groan.
A groan because we are such good friends with his Son who sends us all good things. No joke, no pun.


Though happy and joyful, Christians groan as well. Find out why.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet. His microblog is randal.us.

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