“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” - Romans 8:22
We all experience the groaning of creation that Paul is talking about in this passage. We experience this because we, human beings, are a part of the “whole creation.” We feel creation’s groaning when we grieve loss of any kind, when we see calamities taking place, and when we encounter anything in God’s world that is broken and not as it should be. As Christian’s, we believe that the world we live in, though broken, is good (Genesis 1-2). Our perfect Father fashioned this world with intentionality and creativity and called it good, yet you and I know that the world doesn’t always seem to be good.
So why is there so much brokenness and suffering in God’s good world? The short answer is that humanity made the willing choice to rebel against God, seeking autonomy rather than life according to God’s good purpose. This sinful decision fractured the world and eventually spread to affect all of creation. The groaning that you and I experience today, whether minor or major, results from the enslaving and damaging effects of our own sinful decisions. While our sin and the brokenness it brings into the world certainly grieve you and I, they grieve no one more than God Himself. The writer of Genesis describes God’s response to Sin and its ravaging effects on the world by saying, “his heart was deeply troubled” (Genesis 6:6).
So how do we, as Jesus’ followers, respond when we experience the brokenness of the world? The answer could surprise you… we ought to respond in the same way that God does: by mourning and grieving. Particularly, we ought to go directly to God in prayer, expressing our grief and calling on him to rescue and restore. Historically, this kind of prayer is called “lament.” Lament calls for honesty before God and with God in the midst of our suffering. The psalmists exemplify this type of prayer throughout the book of Psalms. They don’t hold back their real thoughts and feelings, but instead, they turn their honest experience into worship, expressed through prayers of lament.
This is what this song “Come, Lord Jesus, Come” is about. The song was originally written as a prayer for the believers of Afghanistan as they endured extreme persecution. Their nation was raging, families were being broken, many lives were being lost. The situation was unjust, and evil was on full display to the watching world. In moments like these, what can the Church sing? How will we respond? This song offers a prayer that can help us identify with the grief and loss of our brothers and sisters, and call out to Jesus to come and save. The prayer “Come, Lord Jesus” is an ancient Christian prayer that recognizes our own lack of ability to solve our problems, and calls on the Redeemer to come and redeem.
Whether you are grieving global violence or something in your personal life, remember that you can voice your experience to God with complete honesty, while also calling on him to save you and change the situation. God welcomes our honesty, meets us in our grief, and eagerly hears our prayers and moves to comfort us with His presence.