The only sure things in life are pain and death. And our Christian faith does not offer a way around these hardships. In fact, our Lord promised we would face great trials as we follow him. Yet he also promised to be a great source of hope. This is the tension of life in Christ. It is simultaneously full of groaning and full of hope. Indeed, we cannot have one without the other. Hope can only exist within groaning. To ignore or mask our groaning then is to ignore or mask our hope. But to face our trials and endure the suffering with Christ is to live in the place of hope. These birth pangs will not be long now. Our head has broken through. His body is sure to follow soon.