Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (NLT)
Those who admire model trains will understand that when the leading locomotive goes off the rails, it usually drags the following carriages with it. Which is a bit like what happened when the first human beings decided to assert their independence from God and go their own way.
This led to their estrangement from God and a corruption of their ideal humanity. But they also dragged creation down with them. The natural world is not as it ought to be because the humans who inhabit it are not who they ought to be.
But one day it will come good again. When those who belong to God through Jesus become their true, best selves, the created order will also become what it was meant to be. When things are put right with us, things are put right with the world.
Our natural world has a wonderful future. Our eternal destiny is not to escape it into some far corner of the universe called ‘heaven’. The new heavens and earth will be ushered into being, with this world being utterly renovated and restored. Just as we will be free of all that dehumanises us, so too will our world be free of what presently distorts it.
We who derailed our beautiful world will get back on track and bring this world with us.