Sunday, August 2: Now is your time of grief
Read John 16:17-24
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."
Jesus was preparing his disciples for his crucifixion, but they clearly struggled to understand. He knew exactly what was about to occur, so he wanted them to know beforehand that they would be filled with sorrow. He also wanted them to know that he knew exactly what would happen on the first Easter morning — that their grief would turn to joy. Nothing is a surprise to him. Why was this kind of foreknowledge so important to the disciples' faith?
What are you grieving about today? Where are you mourning? Take Jesus' words with you today: "Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." Let his words and his promise undergird you.