For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Romans 8: 20-21
The earth was cursed because of the fall of Adam . It was broken in half and everything in it was subjected to a state of brokenness and decay. We just have to live through the four seasons to understand that a cycle of life arrives with spring but cannot be sustained without going through the death and decaying process of fall and winter.
In The Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe, Narnia was under the control of the wicked witch of the North and the land suffered from a state of perpetual winter. Spring never arrived until Aslan died and rose again. Finally, the ice of winter melted and eternal spring was brought into existence.
Plants, animals, and even the hidden life of our planet were subjected to futility at the Fall. We are not alone in longing for a freedom from corruption. As I write this, Ron and I are still mourning the death of our dog, Freska. We had to put her down after 14 years of companionship. Old age and extreme kidney failure left us no other choices. We said our goodbyes and realized that we don’t have to look far to see that the earth, in this present state, is cursed.
Each of us feels the ‘winter of the soul’ in different ways and in varying degrees. Some of God’s choicest servants knew little external joy. Depression, persecution, serious illness – these have visited most of the heroes of the faith. Their lives seemed to be in perpetual ‘winter’ yet they were not deceived. Very few believed that their present state of futility was an expression of God’s disfavor. They understood that this was just ‘life’ here on earth. God subjected the earth to this state of decay and one day He would make it right again.
The Spring of Eden is on the horizon. Our momentary afflictions, and yes – they can be crushing, are blinks in the context of eternity. None the less, the experiences we have with cold, ice, and death are real and can, at times, be crippling. We cry out in great distress and learn to lament like the Psalmists. Winter has forever affected us and we will not forget what it has been like.
The memory of things here will increase our joy when Jesus comes with power and delivers us. The greater our sorrows, the greater will be the joy of our freedom.
The futility of earth reminds me again of Your power, Lord. You subjected it and You will deliver it. You alone have are mighty and You are my hope for the future. Amen