The whole creation is on tiptoe…” (Romans 8:18, Phillips) and groans awaiting the redemption of nature. Who can listen to the robin’s “all clear” in springtime, or the wood thrush at sundown singing his vespers, without sensing the longing of creation for a better time to come? Was Goethe thinking of this when he wrote, “Often have I had the sensation as if nature in waiting sadness entreated something of me so that not to understand what she longed for cut me to the heart”? Dr. A. T. Robertson wrote “This mystical sympathy of physical nature with the work of grace is beyond the comprehension of most of us. But who can disprove it?” John Keble put it this way:
An idle vaunt of song,
Such as beneath the moon’s soft beam
On vacant fancies throng,
Which bids me see in heaven or earth,
In all things fair around,
Strong yearnings for a blest new birth
With sinless glories crowned.