Monday, February 10, 2014

Joy Comes in the Morning

Pain etched itself in the expression on her face. It was so much harder to watch my daughter go through it that when I did it myself!

Wyatt was, even then, reluctant to make his appearance ( He was already a week late, and now, a full 17 hours after being induced, delivery was finally growing close. But it wasn’t easy.

Wave after wave of excruciating contractions rolled through Megan, so close together as to feel like a single one. Straining and groaning, she struggled to push him out. The intensity of the pain seemed like it would never end, but there was no other choice than to keep pressing on.

It’s a lot like life.

It can be fraught with pain. At times it’s hard, it seems endless, and it hurts. We cannot escape it, so we just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Yet in our suffering, something is born is us that could not happen any other way. Our character changes; qualities develop; trust in Jesus deepens.

…suffering produces perseverance; perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.                                                                                                  Romans 5:3-4

We are changed by our struggles, and while we would never ask for or choose suffering, we so often we look back on those times and recognize how much we learned, and how near God was to us during it.

At 2:41 am Megan’s suffering was over, and joy came in the form of Wyatt Alan.

Wyatt newborn

One day, all of our suffering will come to an end, too. It may not come today, or tomorrow, or even in this lifetime. Jesus told us that this world would hold trouble (John 16:33). He also promised that one day:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”                                                                  Revelation 21:4-5

All will be made right. No more suffering. No more pain. Only Jesus will remain, and the joy of eternity with Him.

“…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.                                                                                                            Romans 8:18

Further reflection:

  1. Describe a time that you felt like your suffering would never end.
  2. How are you different from having gone through that?

Father, thank You that, even when we are suffering, Your plans are good. You never, ever leave us to suffer alone, and You do a new work in us, creating qualities that were not there before. Thank You, too, for the promise of heaven, when all will be made right and suffering will be no more. Until then, help me to see Your purposes in the midst of pain, so that You have Your way in me.

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