You’re all sat together, crammed into a bus, or a plane or a car. Different peoples, all from different background but having the same shared experience. It’s quite a normal concept, that we share experiences. However sometimes the outcomes are so vastly different that you’re amazed that the experience was the same.
A few years ago I stood in Jordan in the place where Jesus, supposedly, stood and cast out the demoniac in Mark 5. My experience, as I stood and read the at passage aloud to our group visiting the area, was very different from the Muslim traders selling their goods nearby. The same experience, different outcomes.
As a human race we all journey through the same experience of life. Yes, there are many differences of certain elements. But generally speaking there is at least one thing that is common. We all live in a Romans 8 world.
We all live in a world that is groaning. We live in a world that is crying out to be made new. Seas roar, trees creek, animals howl and the earth shakes because it all knows that something is wrong.
But it’s deeper too, not only does the earth have that shared experience, we do as human beings. We feel the sting of death. We feel the tears well as the grave is filled over and the earth swallows yet another loved one. We feel the heartache of that doctors appointment, of that relationship breakdown, of that financial blow.
We have the feeling deep in our stomachs that something isn’t right. We feel disgusted at injustice. We feel angry at death. We feel wronged when the ‘bad guys’ win and the ‘good guys’ lose.
We have the same common experience of live in a world and in bodies that groan. We grown to be made new. To be recreated and to be reunited with God in perfect harmony as we were create to be!
But there’s the difference, our common experience is groaning, but the destination is not the same. Some try to fill their groaning with all sorts of distractions, always on the look out for that new thing to scratch the itch. But it always comes back. But some realise that the groaning is not pointless, it’s not meaningless, but that it is pointing us to a glory that far outweighs the pain and problems we face in this life.
No amount of stuff will solve our problems or our groanings. No amount of pleasures will heal our pain. No amount of stuff will fix our sin. The solution is not found withinX but it is in Him!
The solution to our groaning is Jesus. Not because he takes us out of our mess and into perfection, but because He took on our groaning so that He could give us Glory. He took our separation from God and in its place gave us the gift of a new family.
Though our experiences in one sense are the shared, though we’re bound together in this groaning, the outcome is different. For some the groanings push them towards the solution in Jesus. Yet others are pushed deeper into their rebellion and self-gratification. Some are pushed to Jesus and others are pushed away from Him.
Each day you groan, every moment you live and every breath that you breathe is an invitation to come to the only one who can turn your groaning to glory. It’s all a call to come to the one who takes your cross and gives you a crown. It’s all a call to see the shared experience but see the beauty of a relationship with the Creator, the relationship that you were created to enjoy.
We have a shared experience and a shared message, come to Jesus and find rest for your weary ad groaning soul and be at peace and rest. A peace and rest that will never fade or fail because it is founded, it is secure and it is built on Jesus Christ.