18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

In late August of 2005, a tropical depression formed over the Bahamas, east of Miami. Over a six-day period, the storm strengthened into a category 4 hurricane with winds over 170 miles per hour and made landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. This storm, now known as Hurricane Katrina, claimed 1,800 lives, produced 62 tornadoes, and caused more than 160 billion dollars in damage. The effects of Hurricane Katrina were devastating to say the least.

According to the Bible, this was not God’s intention for creation. Before the fall of man, all of creation was in perfect harmony as God created it. However, the effects of sin in Genesis 3 were even more devastating and far-reaching than the deadliest storms known to man.

As Paul pointed out in today’s passage from Romans 8, the effects of sin have marred even creation itself. The deadly effects of a storm like Katrina are just some of the countless examples of this throughout human history. It’s hard to deny the brokenness experienced in the world due to something like a natural disaster.

Yet, we often have more trouble recognizing the devastation that has occurred in our own lives and relationships from sin. In order to submit ourselves fully before God in repentance, we must be able to identify the devastating impact of sin in our lives. Sin is not just something we do, but something that has affected our very being. Though the depths of sin are vast, the grace of God is greater. While we were still in our sin, God sent Jesus to rescue those who place their faith in Him, and now we wait with eager hope for His return. Even creation itself longs to see this day.

• What is the worst natural disaster you have personally experienced?

• Compare the obvious effects of a natural disaster with the impact you have experienced from sin in the world and your own life.

• Pray and ask God to continually reveal your sin, that you might submit it to His authority. Thank Him for the endless grace He has given to sinners through the coming of Jesus.