Scripture Reading: John 16:19-22
“In a little while, you won’t see me; and then, a little while later, you will see me. Yes, it’s true. I tell you that you will sob and mourn, and the world will rejoice; and you will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. When a woman is giving birth, she is in pain, because her time has come. But when the baby is born, she forgets her suffering out of joy that a child has come into the world. So you do indeed feel grief now, but I am going to see you again. Then your hearts will be full of joy, and no one will take your joy away from you.” (John 16: 19-22)
True joy is usually preceded by pain and heartache. But pain does not last forever.
The disciples were experiencing much sorrow and pain in their hearts. They felt it was the “end of the world,” when in fact it was only the beginning!
When a woman gives birth to her first child, it is often very painful, and sometimes she even thinks she will die — that it is the end of everything. But, the fact is that it’s only the beginning of a new life, for as soon as her baby is born she had the honour of being recognized by all that she is a “Mother!”
New responsibilities and new honours are hers, together with new joys — such joys as she has never in her life experienced before.
She will never be the same again. Her lifestyle will change completely. In fact, the more she gives of herself to motherhood, the more her life will change.
There are those mothers who do not deserve to be called “mothers.” And there are those who must take the pan of both mother and father. And there are those who are so taken up with their careers that they practically forsake their own children.
But for the true mother, who has a mother-heart, the joy of holding that baby in her arms surpasses all earthly joys. The wonder of it all is so great that angels love to attend the scene of delivery when the “miracle of birth” takes place.
Right now you are in the pains of spiritually birthing a miracle, and you sometimes feel like you just can’t get through, but I want to encourage you today: the hour of deliverance has almost arrived! Keep on trusting, keep on “panting” (in prayer) and “pushing” in faith. The most difficult and painful part of giving birth to a baby is what is called the Second Stage of Delivery, after the “presentation” (when the head begins to show). But then is when it is the closest to the end of the ordeal, the pain, the fears, and the weariness.
Soon you will see the results of all your pain and grief and hard work. And when you do, great will be your joy!
In fact, your joy will be complete. You have never ever known complete joy. But you shall know it on “That Day.” And no one will be able to take that joy away from you.
I gave My disciples joy on the night that I was betrayed. I knew what Judas was doing, but his actions of hatred and evil against Me did not rob Me of possessing joy, and giving it to others.
And you will give others joy even in the midst of your own pain.
From the Heart of Jesus by Gwen Shaw
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