We had to do one of those hard things in life on Wednesday. We had to put down our dog, Tebow after more than 14 years. It was a hard day. Many of you know that difficulty. Early Wednesday morning, Kerri mentioned some verses in Romans 8 that have been playing on repeat since. Romans 8:20-22 read: For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope (21) 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. (22) For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

Verse 20 takes us back to Genesis 3 when God addressed the serpent, Eve, and then Adam after the fall of humanity. In Genesis 3:17-19, God stated that the ground, creation, was now cursed because of Adam’s sin. Life, as God intended, was altered by sin. Though creation was not responsible for sin, it has suffered futility because of sin. As we watched Tebow’s decline over the last year and significantly over the last six months, I sensed that I was being given a view of the futility of creation. But that futility is not permanent or without purpose. Yes, there is a sense that creation is groaning right now as verse 22 makes clear, but groaning and futility are not permanent. Verse 21 takes us to the ultimate impact started by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Through faith and trust in Jesus, we become children of God. And children of God are set free from sin and death (Galatians 5:1 – For freedom Christ set us free). The fullness of that freedom will be expressed when the Lord Jesus returns, His kingdom comes in full, and we then go from time to eternity. And that will mean that creation will be set free from bondage and be part of the freedom we already have in Jesus.

I will miss Tebow. He is the only dog that I have ever had. We have so many memories that have been flooding my mind over the last few days. Through his passing and Kerri’s reference to Romans 8, God has reminded me in a deeper way of the incredible freedom that I have been given in Christ. And how that freedom will lead to the new heavens and the new earth being free from the corruption brought by sin. In a fresh way, through the tears of yesterday, God has increased my longing for the return of the Lord Jesus. Our Savior is incredible, and He has more incredible freedom waiting for us and all of creation to enjoy.