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March 12, 2018, 9:00 AM

Anguish Gives Birth to Joy

I recently read a statement that said something to the extent of, what you are currently going through is God preparing to give you what you’ve been praying for.  I took it kind of personal because I see that very thing happening in our family right now.  I began to think of some other instances in the Bible where that may be true also.  Where people had to endure some hardships in preparation for what God was bringing them.  The Israelites wandered in the desert in preparation for the Promised Land.  Jesus fasted and was tempted in the wilderness prior to beginning His earthly ministry.  Paul was blinded on the road in preparation for God using him.  The list is long and would take much room to name all of the examples.  I was in a type of wilderness for a period about 6 weeks and by wilderness, I mean a place of preparation where I had much to learn prior to moving on to where the Lord was leading.  In the middle of it, I was having one of those “grumble” moments where I was frustrated and complaining wondering why the Lord hadn’t left me to die in Egypt. (reference to Exodus and the wilderness wanderings.)  It was a Wednesday night and I didn’t really want to go to church because I was very discouraged.  The study that night came from John 16 and verse 21 jumped off the page and slapped me across my bald head.  While Jesus is speaking of the sorrow of Him leaving the disciples turning to joy at His resurrection, there is a second implication that can be taken from this verse also.  Notice that the very same act, the process of giving birth, brings both pain and joy and the joy doesn’t come without first enduring the pain.  The circumstances don’t change, just the perspective of the woman.  What begins as anguish (GRK implies suffering, lamenting), is the very same thing that brings overwhelming joy, joy that makes a person forget about the pain.  In that moment and since, I realized that the current “anguish” I was enduring would be the very thing to bring joy into my life.  Not just material or physical, but most importantly, spiritual. As soon as a new mom beholds the beauty of a newborn child, the pain of labor is turned to joy at the realization of the gift brought forth from the suffering.  If you’re enduring a little anguish in your life, ask the Lord to show you a glimpse of the joy that is to come.  Though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning.  Though we may endure hard times now, eternal joy is our hope and promise from God through Jesus. 


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