Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
I tell you the solemn truth, you will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice; you will be sad, but your sadness will turn into joy. When a woman gives birth, she has distress because her time has come, but when her child is born, she no longer remembers the suffering because of her joy that a human being has been born into the world. John 16.20-21
Jesus was preparing his disciples for events that would soon take place. His death and resurrection were just hours away. The disciples did not understand what he was trying to say. He told them that they would be sad. They would weep and wail. However, the world would rejoice at his death.
Jesus compared the coming days to the birth of a child. The stress that a woman feels during childbirth is both mental and physical. There is the mental stress of the uncertainty of when it will happen and how it will be. Then, there is the actual physical suffering that occurs during the actual birth. However, once the baby is born and she holds the baby in her arms, her joy overcomes her memories of the suffering that she had just been through during the birth process.
Jesus would die. The disciples would see this as the end to their dreams and hopes for the future. But, on the third day, he would rise from the dead and their joy over this event would eclipse all of the sorrow they had felt.
We do not always understand about the death of Jesus, why he had to die. Nor do we understand the significance of his resurrection on the third day. Yet, when we do understand, it brings a joy that surpasses all the sadness and turmoil that accompanies unbelief. Do you understand? Do you have the joy?