all creation groans

"Created, then drilled and invaded.
If somebody made it, someone will mess it up."
-Coldplay, "Twisted Logic"

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now."
-Romans 8:18-22

In reading the above verse, it's clear that it's not just us waiting for things to improve. All of creation is waiting to be delivered. But it also seems, in recent times, that the groaning is getting louder.

As I've stated previously, it's taken us just at 100 years to pollute the entire planet in order to have things "we can't live without." But as discussions of "global warming" and "climate change" arise, I frequently like to remind people, there are two very important things everyone needs to remember:

1) In general, we have very little control over this planet.

Yes, a lot of our behavior is affecting environmental changes in various ways. Take for example the heat island effect in larger cities, the fact that destruction of swamp land below New Orleans allowed Hurricane Katrina to hit with much more force than if plant protection had been in place, or the destruction of rain forest which lends itself to, among other things, further extinction of plants and animals exclusive to the region.

However, many of the "climate changes" we see also come with standard weather patterns and the way the planet is designed to work in general, and we can't forget all that just because local temperatures aren't reading the way we're used too for a week, or even a month. Honestly, it wasn't so long ago that we were talking about global cooling and the possibility of having to forcibly melt the polar ice caps. (See Newsweek magazine, April 28, 1975.)

So, as a very fine local weather man recently put it, the question is how much of climate change is due to what humans are doing, and how much is just the planet doing what the planet was designed to do?

Now, for some, the theological question is how much of the wild weather and natural disasters we're seeing might be due to God's wrath? We currently have no answer to that question, but we're also not hearing loud claims of responsibility for events such as tsunami causing earthquakes and other such phenomena.

No matter what your take on that, consider this:

"For I know that the Lord is great, And our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the Lord pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries." -Psalm 135:5-7

Bottom line? God is in control of all that's happening, one way or another.

2) Most people don't realize how much effect each individual has on their immediate environment.

Industrialized nations produce tons of waste and byproducts per person each year. It has gotten to the point that we are actually paying people to dig recyclable products out of our landfills for reuse.

It would certainly make a lot more sense to save that money by taking the time up front to recycle the maximum amount of product possible, and limiting use of anything we are unable to recycle. And a lot of people are making attempts to do just that.

That's just one example of something you can do. And we all know many other ways to do what's best for everyone by doing what's best for the planet. Remember, we've been placed in a specific and orderly framework with specific and real consequences for every action. Clearly, pollution and disease are unquestionable consequences, but folks have a tendency to conveniently forget that when their convenience is threatened.

It doesn't take a genius, or a theologian, to figure out that everything is suffering more and more on account of mankind's demands to have things easy, especially in an age where we can clearly see the damage we've caused. Once again, I call for that fine balance between acting upon what we care about and realizing the Lord is in control. And I pray more Christians become willing to step up and help in the right ways and for the right reason—the glory of the Creator—as we await for that Day when we, and all creation, are delivered from this mess.

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