Your Sorrow Will Turn Into Joy

20 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. 21 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. 22 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. 

John 16:20-22

My Bible-reading plan is getting to Jesus’s last days on earth … apropropriate, I guess, for the weeks leading up to Easter.

I think my own feelings are approaching the, “You will be sorrowful” part.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t just “read” the Bible. It’s way more than just “reading.”

“Reading” is what I do with the unending stream of documents at work, all of which I’m supposed to read, and many of which I’m supposed to either edit or act upon. “Reading” those documents is kind of a transactional thing. You read it, you take some action based on reading it, and then you’re done. They don’t actually make a difference in who I am in relation to the Universe.

But reading the Bible really affects me. It changes who I am in relation to God’s Creation, the Heavens and the Earth. It’s more like pouring the Word of God into my heart.

My year-long Bible-reading plan now is getting to Jesus’s last days on Earth. I read it already knowing what’s going to happen next … I literally found myself flooded with sorrow as I read today’s passage.

I found myself almost angry with God for making the world such a violent place. He could have done otherwise. He is all powerful. Why did Jesus have to die for my sins. God made that be so, but He could have made it otherwise.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to cry when I read about his actual crucifixion. I almost cried today just knowing that was coming. I know in my head that this is God’s Word, and that He wants me to really understand Jesus’s sacrifice for my salvation. I know that in order to grow as a Christian I need to deepen my understanding of that. But worldly-me sometimes almost would rather be in denial. I don’t want to really think about that – it’s a hard thing to take in. I feel like I don’t want Jesus to suffer for me — I love Jesus — how can I want someone I love to suffer because of my sinfulness?

As these questions are poured into my soul I can feel the Holy Spirit at work … guiding me, shaping me, refining my existence “in Christ.”

My mind is too human to totally wrap itself around the miraculousness of that. So I seek comfort in Jesus words, that my heart will rejoice and no one will take my joy from me.

How apropos in the days leading up to Easter.

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