Over the last year, hundreds of thousands of people have died from coronavirus. Over the last year, millions more were hospitalized because of that virus. And a year later, thousands now test negative for the virus, but have continuing health problems because of the damage it did. And that was only the results of the pandemic. Over the last year, the many other afflictions of life that plague us in this world have not gone away. If we were not diagnosed with a disease in this last year, we certainly have a friend or family member in that boat. If we did not have ongoing health problems in this past year, we know people who have chronic ailments. And if we happen to have been blessed with a life that has been free of every kind of suffering in this past year, we certainly are friends with a Job or two. That is the reality of life in this fallen world.
But it is not the reality God wanted to exist when He said “let there be light,” nor how He intends things to remain forever. We see this fact in the same chapter of Genesis where God said “let there be light.” For God also said He made His creation “good.” And in Revelation, God said that He will one day restore His good creation, and “wipe away every tear from our eyes.” For now, however, we continue to live in an in between time in which God offers us healing from affliction, but does not always prevent affliction from coming upon us. This often leads us, with Paul, to say with the hope of faith that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us,” and with all of creation proclaim that we “wait in eager expectation” of what God will one day do to conquer our afflictions.