“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)
groan (v. i.) to utter a low, prolonged sound of or as of pain, sorrow, etc. To be oppressed or overburdened. (v.t.) To utter or express with groans. (n.) A low moaning sound uttered in anguish, distress, or derision.
soul (n.) that essence or entity of the human person which is regarded as being immortal, invisible, and the source of origin of spirituality, emotion, volition, etc.
cry (n.) entreaty, appeal; an inarticulate utterance of distress, rage, or pain. (v.) to shout; to beg or beseech; to shed tears often noisily.
“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. All creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be free from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised to give us.
We were given this hope when we saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)” Romans 8:22-25 (NLT)
When you groan, God gets it… He sees and knows the pain you feel. He understands and feels your eagerness to be free from this world. And He can relate to your longing for relief from the troubles and struggles of this life.
A fact about me: I write a lot when I’m going through something and more than likely, whatever I’m writing is an expression of what I’m going through. In those writings (short stories), I use words to paint pictures for others so they can clearly see what I’m going through and what I would like the outcome to be or look/feel like for me. I put myself in the stories (as myself or I create a character who is like me) and I create challenges for myself (take myself through some tough situations) and watch myself make it out. When I write stories like that, it’s just me starting and ending what I’m going through. So I find so much relief through writing. For example; I might write about a war of some kind that ends with peace if I’m longing for peace.
Anyway… That’s just me being me.
And… that’s why it took me so long to get this one out. I knew I was going to have to get open and honest with myself and about myself, if I was going to write this.
You might say, “Well, you could have just changed the subject.” But I couldn’t… Because, for one, I dig in best when I’m going through or have been through whatever I’m writing about. For two, Romans 8:22-25 couldn’t have touched my soul at a better time.
Reading that passage had made me very emotional… but I couldn’t help but keep reading it and meditating on it. I knew I had to use it to help me express what’s been on my heart because I couldn’t stop reading it, over, and over, and over. It hit home for me. So I had to let God work.
Truthfully, I’ve been groaning a lot lately… not outwardly though, due to the fact that I’m a very introverted person… Inwardly I’ve been crying out to God every day lately. There’s not a day that has went by that I haven’t begged God to help me. I’ve been screaming to the top of my lungs. There were times when I cried out and wondered if He heard me. Then there were times when I know He heard me… No doubt about it.
I added the word “Soul” to the title of this blog because, it’s been an emotional roller coaster for me… and with its definition it fit well. Hence the word “emotion” in its definition.
I’m glad that I actually got started on this subject though… It’s been helping and teaching me a lot. But I’m not just doing this for me, but also for everyone else who has those moments when it feels like they have never been heard or is not being heard.
As I’ve been reading up on the subject of groaning, I’ve learned some very interesting things.
For instance, in Romans 8:23, “Groaning” expresses a frustrated longing for God’s deliverance from the difficulties and oppression of this life and this part [of the same verse] “wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children”, literally means, “wait anxiously for sonship”. Because although we have been adopted by God as His children, the full rights of rights of that adoption-our inheritance-are not yet ours (Romans 8:17). In this life, Christians live in tension between the “already of redemption and the “Not yet” of the glory to be revealed (Romans 8:18).
That’s deep stuff… And for me, it was hard to swallow.
It was hard for me to take in because, personally, I was going through the, “I’m tired of waiting” phase while at the same time feeling like I didn’t “already have” anything. I was feeling inadequate and empty handed. And in that moment I felt like that’s all it would be for me. I felt like I would never have the things I truly long for in life. I kept going back to Psalm 37:4, to remind God of what He said. I was rubbing it in His face, letting Him know that He promised me. I was hoping that He heard me too… Because I really didn’t know if He was getting it.
“From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.” Psalm 130:1-2 (NLT)
*You could replace the word “cry” with “sigh” (also meaning cry, moan, groan, and gasp) – it’s all the same.
[Because I was curious] (I can’t stress this topic enough), I looked deeper into the word groan and read that it also means to moan. Then when I read the synonyms for moan, those words had seemed to put emphasis on the word groan for me. To moan also mean to wail (to grieve with mourningful cries; lament. To mourn. To cry out in sorrow) or to whine (to utter a high plaintive, nasal sound expressive of grief or distress).
It may look unnecessary to have all of that in one sentence, but it works for me, because it stresses the point that I’m trying to make. And my point is that whether you’re groaning, moaning, sighing, crying or whining – God hears it. You just have to wait with patience (persevere) to know it. If you give in to what you’re feeling right now, you’ll never know that on the other side of what you’re going through “right now”, God heard you.
“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 (NLT)
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1 (NLT)
See? God hears! God’s not deaf…
Continuing the passage above, “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:2-3 (NLT)
I want to put emphasis on “They will put their trust in the Lord”; people get motivated and inspired when they hear stories of people who have made it through some tough things, especially if it’s relating to something that they’re (the person whose hearing the story) experiencing in that moment. If you make it, you can tell someone about how the Lord heard your cry, carried through it all and brought you out, encouraging the next person to hang on. And in turn, they’ll have a testimony for the next person (pay it forward).
“Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord… O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans (Jeremiah 29:11) for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.” Psalm 40:4-5 (NLT)
Those two verses say so much… Because the writer of that Psalm knows that they didn’t make it to where they were without God. God had been there for them (obviously) “countless times”. And that means that they’ve been in dark places before, they’ve experienced their share of trials and hardships, but every time, God brought them out. EVERY TIME! And it’s clear that the writer of that Psalm had experienced many troubles (Psalms 34:19), so being realistic, I know that there was some crying/groaning/mourning (there were tears) along the way.
And for that there’s this, “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” Psalm 126:5 (NLT)
God hears your cries and sees your tears. And maybe you already know that He does, so you can relate to whoever wrote Psalm 40 and are a testament to the fact that God has brought you through so much already.
My question for you is; why wouldn’t He do it again? Isn’t He mighty enough to do it again? It might not be like what you went through last time, but what does that mean to God? He’s the Sovereign God! He rules the world. So tell me what He can’t do… There’s nothing He can’t do.
Now that you know (see for yourself) that God hears it all and sees it and can do all things, “Trust in Him at all times (even now). Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 (NLT) He’ll never leave you nor forsake you. He got you this far. He carried you.
“I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in Your words. I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.” Psalm 119:147 (NLT)
If you have to cry all the way ’til you get to the other side, then do so. Let it out. Just make sure you’re not crying in vain (when you do cry, cry out (pour it out) to God). He’s the only one who can really do something about those tears.
We all find ourselves groaning at one point or another because we’re longing for something. The word “long” means to desire, yearn, wish or want. And we all yearn for something, want for something, desire something and/or wish for something. Some of us might not be in that season right now though. Maybe it’s passed for you and right now you want for nothing. But don’t forget about Psalm 34:18. It means what it says. And while you long (desire for whatever), remember Psalm 37:4.
The wait may be long and tiresome, but we wait because He promised and He’s faithful.
“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.” Romans 8:18 (NLT)
“And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share in His glory, we must also share in His suffering.” Romans 8:17 (NLT)
If you’ve been groaning, keep groaning. Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity of great joy. For you know when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NLT)
Also… if you’re the reason you’re in the position you’re in, God knows the desires of your heart. He knows when you’re truly sorry and want to make it right with Him. And there are no extreme measures you have to take to get right with Him either. All you have to do is confess, repent and believe.