Now is your time of grief …
John 16 v 16-22
“Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 17 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’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 19 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’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 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. 22 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.”
The hours are slipping by quickly, the disciples are tired, but the agony of the cross is nearing.
The disciples are getting confused and the image is rather funny, v16-19.
Jesus’ mind is on his death and what the cross will achieve. He uses the analogy of child-birth to understand that this is what he has come for, to birth God’s plan of salvation for the world, v20-21.
Then Jesus says what has brought great comfort throughout the generations and across the globe to so many of his followers, v22.
If we could describe this last 12 months it would definitely be for so many a time of grief. Many will wake today in grief. Sadly many will walk into grief today.
There have been far greater people than me who have become experts in understanding grief and helping those through it. But from this one verse I offer 5 thoughts that may help someone 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.
- Grief is no respecter of persons. Even those who follow Jesus will suffer grief.
- Grief has a time which is held not by the pressure from people for you to move on, but by God who will bring it to an end because …
- Grief will not be replaced by joy but it will be transformed into joy which also comes in God’s timing.
- Grief can be held by hope of seeing our loved one again. The separation is temporary. (Read 1 Thessalonians 4 v13-14).
- Grief is not a surprise to God. He knows. He has told us. That is why He already sent us the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.