‘A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.’ So some of his disciples said to one another, ‘What is this that he says to us, “A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me”; and, “because I am going to the Father”?’ So they were saying, ‘What does he mean by “a little while”? We do not know what he is talking about.’ Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, ‘Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, “A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me”? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.’
Sometimes a passage about joy brings me sorrow. Ironic, isn’t it? But if you know our story and read these verses, you can understand why it makes me sad. Anguish gives birth to joy, and in turn, I experienced anguish again.
And yet, I believe that the Father understands the pain I am going through. How must His heart break when He watches His beloved children turn their backs to Him? But this world and its heartbreak is the time of sorrow and pain, with all of the difficult births and deaths and sin and betrayal. The time of joy, the new birth, is yet to come. For me, that time of joy will be more than a metaphor of holding a baby. I will be holding my babies again.
What I cannot comprehend (but stand in awe in the knowledge) is that the joy of holding them again will not compare to the joy of standing before the throne of God!