26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
We had this scripture verse in my Saturday Sanctuary morning devotional. I really like this verse. It really gives me peace. Again, I go back to the role of God (and Spirit) as parent which is something I can easily relate to. I hate to see my children suffer unnecessarily. There are many times they deserve to suffer, indeed have brought the suffering upon themselves–these are called teachable moments. But the moments where they don’t really deserve to suffer–those are when my heart aches for them. Often, in their frustration, they do not know what they need. They are just angry and frustrated and are lashing out at whoever is closest–which is typically me.
I consider it to be a great accomplishment as a parent when I recognize their frustration and help them in their weakness. I don’t mean a hand out–I mean a hand up. Even if it is just telling them that they need to take a break and comeback to fight the battle another day. I know what they need even if they cannot verbalize it and I try to intercede (through comforting, not helicopter parenting) while my heart aches for them.
I feel that Paul gets very personal in this chapter of Romans. He compares heaven waiting for us as equal to experiencing the pains of childbirth. And let me tell you–it smarts a bit.
2We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Childbirth is both ultimately painful and rewarding–the ultimate two sides of a coin. It is amazing that something that can bring forth such joy can also cause such pain. I guess it is God giving us a preview of how parenting is going to be for the rest of our lives. Ultimate pain and ultimate grace.
This is how God feels about us. He hears our cries that we are unable to verbalize. The ones that shake us to our core. A medical scare, a job loss, the loss of a parent, spouse, child or friend. The moments when we are certain that we are alone in the world. We cannot even utter prayers our grief is so great. But the Spirit intercedes. It prays the words we are unable to offer. It cries out with groanings too deep for words.