“Very truly I tell you,
you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.
You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”
John 16:20 NIV
It doesn’t matter how many times you experience the process, it still blows you away every time. When your heart feels shattered and you need reminders to simply breathe, there it is. The world taunting you as it continues spinning in orbit. People around you completely oblivious to anything changed. Life carrying on. Significance ignored.
As we weep and mourn, the world rejoices.
Jesus got this. He told His disciples it was going to happen that way, that His death would seem insignificant to everyone but them. People would carry on like it didn’t even matter one they loved so deeply was gone.
But then He promised. He assured them the pain would transform.
You see, it never goes away, only transfigures.
And friends, He’s promised. Our grief can turn to joy.
Sometimes I wonder if the world rejoicing is our reminder of the big picture. Maybe it’s a glimmer of promise. Of significance sustained.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
No matter how much I search, I am convinced I’ll never find it. Not one Bible verse or phrase. Nowhere does it say not to grieve. On the contrary. It gives permission to mourn. In the verse first mentioned, it’s even an expectation.
I fully believe grieving is a gift from our Heavenly Father. It’s proof we really can love that much. So much it hurts when it feels like it has been stolen from us.
Sometimes I wonder if what we’re really worried about is that we will forget. We’ll forget how much we loved so deeply. We mourn to delight in that again. And we long to stop the world from spinning. To freeze time until we find our footing. Until significance is acknowledged.
But when we are flattened, crushed, in the depths of loss, our Abba Father is there waiting to pick us back up again. To lavish us with His love and soothe our hurt. To remind us of His promises. To come to our rescue.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
Psalm 34:18 NLT
He’s promised to be there for us. He will weep with us, hold us, shelter our hearts, help us put the pieces back together again.
Because He understands what we’re going through. He knows this feeling of grief. Of longing to have love back again. He knows the gaping hole another life can leave. For we are each significant to Him.
Friends, only in His arms does the world stop spinning. It’s the only place we can simply be.
And when you find your way there,
the promise becomes reality.
Grief turns to joy.
Not forgotten. Simply transfigured.
How about you? Have you experienced grief transformed? How did it happen for you? I’d love to hear.
Thanks for sharing your time with me.
Joy in affliction is rooted in the hope of resurrection,
but our experience of suffering also deepens the root of that hope.
NOTE: This is a part of the mini-series started on my stillborn son’s birthday. You may find all the posts on grieving HERE.