June 6 - Grief to Joy

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6 – Grief to Joy

Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:16-24)

I can’t tell you the number of times I have questioned the path that God has placed me on.  I hate the process of transformation.  When I anticipate the change, I am terrified. In the middle of the transformation, I am in pain.  But, I always seem to come out on the other side a stronger and better person – understanding the necessity of the process and grateful for the learning that occurred.

I have spent time screaming at God, begging Him, pleading with Him, furious with Him.  And even as the tears flow, I know that He remains steadfast.

Jesus knew that His disciples would grieve.  They wouldn’t understand the process that they were about to face.  They would be terrified, they would feel such incredible grief.  But, He also knew that when it was over they would understand it and feel incomprehensible joy.

That joy was His gift back to them and it His gift to us.  Though I would like a road map for the rest of my life so that I can understand exactly what it is God has for me to do, I know that it will never be that easy.  Each step of the process will probably be difficult and bring grief and terror.

On the other side of each step, though, I also know that because I walk with Jesus, there will be joy … incomprehensible joy. I look forward to that when I face those impossible transformations.