creation groans


Creation Groans

Romans 8 and the evening news. These two sources provided the inspiration for this song.

I wrote it at a time in which I was watching news story after news story about racial tension, political turmoil, international atrocities, and rising death tolls. It almost doesn’t matter in what year I wrote it or what the specific events were; the storylines don’t ever seem to change. I was grieving the brokenness of our world and doubting the goodness–the goodness of creation, the goodness of the Creator. It all seemed too much.

I sat down with my guitar and my Bible and began to write this song.

The guitar is intended to sound busy through the interludes and verses, like the onslaught of news stories filling the air. Space then clears for the chorus. Like one who has walked away from the sound of the television into a quiet room as they struggle to hold on to hope. Christians are called to be a people of hope, but it sure feels foolish sometimes.

I recently heard a sermon in which three kinds of hope were discussed.

The first is “cheap hope.” Cheap hope doesn’t acknowledge the hurt and hardship. Cheap hope turns off the news and ignores the brokenness, pretends it isn’t real or doesn’t matter. The problem with cheap hope is that, at some point, it will come up against hardship that it cannot turn off or turn away from.

Cheap hope often leads to the second kind of hope: “dead hope,” the defeated acceptance that any hope is misguided, the belief that there is nothing left to hope for. The kind of hope that is, of course, no hope at all.

That is the direction I was headed as I began this song.

Then I remembered Paul writing something about creation “groaning” in Romans 8. Groaning, yes. That is what I was feeling in my spirit. I flipped over to Romans 8 and read it, then read it again. Paul there presents us with a living kind of hope that is anything but cheap.

The third hope and the hope Scripture calls us to is a “deep hope,” a hope that acknowledges the hardships and recognizes God’s heart breaks every bit as much as our own.

Deep hope is a kind of protest. It stands up against the darkness. It joins in with the small band of believers who have also faced the worst of the world and lived to discover this weightier and more rooted kind of hope. Deep hope grieves the brokenness, yes, but also steps into the rubble to rebuild, restore, and remember that this is not how the story ends.

This song begins with the evening news. It runs through Romans 8. And it looks with hope–deep hope–toward the fulfillment of all that God promises in the end: new life, new creation, Christ’s Kingdom on earth as it already is in heaven.

In the face of all the hurt and hardship and brokenness, in light of all the bad news that fills the air, is hope foolish? If it is, well, then you can call me a fool.

Romans 8:18-25
Consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Luke 21:25-28
25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”



Creation groans
And children throw stones
Words cut like swords
Death comes with no cure

Am I a fool to believe
that all this was good once
Am I a fool to believe
all this will be good once again

Famines come and go
So the story is told
But this barren land
Stretches on with no end

Am I a fool to believe
that all this was good once
Am I a fool to believe
all this will be good once again

Am I a fool to believe
that all this was good once
Am I a fool to believe
all this will be good once again

that all the suffering and time
won’t compare to the life
and the glory and joy
when freedom breaks
through the sky

Creation waits and it wails
Oh God and we do too
for the day the decayed
is made to shine like new

So children groan and give voice
Protest the darkness and noise
Be fools and hope and rejoice
Live in the victory
Fight for the good
For the good
which only fools may believe

I’ll be a fool and believe
that all this was good once
You can call me a fool
but I believe
all this will be good once again


Words & Music: Bill Wolf
Backing Vocals: Lydia Emerson
Produced: Collin Brummette