16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
That's the tail end of the passage that was covered at in this morning's sermon at Galilee Baptist in Loveland, our church away from church when we're visiting Eileen's family. Verse 17 struck home, especially the part of sharing Christ's sufferings.
The news is almost uniformly bad, with a dysfunctional Washington (and Denver, if our state-senator Sunday School teacher's war stories are any indication), ISIS on the prowl in the Middle East, Boka Haram and Ebola prowling West Africa, an Icelandic volcano about to blow and a mother-in-law in need of a spinal tap tomorrow morning to check for possible cancerous meningitis (no "it goes to 11" jokes, please). That combines for a rather depressing age for me, one that had stunned my writing muse into silence for the last few days.
However, the fact that my spirit grieves for all those things is part of that suffering that Paul speaks of to the Romans. A far milder form of suffering than someone getting beheaded by a jihadi or being forced to flee their home with only the clothes on their back, but suffering nonetheless.
If we're numb to all that, we've let the world numb our connection with the Holy Spirit. We might want to be numb, to let the pain pass us by and not care about others, but being a feeling child of God requires us to feel something of that pain. We have to work through that pain rather than let it overwhelm us, but it is part of being a child of God, to grieve for the things that God grieves for.