Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I mean by saying, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.”-John 16:19-20
The world has repeatedly celebrated the supposed death of Jesus. It seems that every generation proclaims the death of God, claiming that he is unnecessary in a thinking person’s world, yet each generation discovers him anew.
When we suffer, we feel the intensity of God’s apparent absence. In confusion, we ask why we gave our lives to one who is now so evidently absent. Why cry out in lament if he will not comfort? God feels like a fool’s hope and following him nothing more than a child’s dream.
And yet…Jesus promised his followers that their sorrows would be turned to joy. Joy about what? Joy at the realization that even in our darkest times, God has not abandoned us. Joy when we recognize that not only do we possess a future hope of dwelling with the Trinity, but that even now, the Spirit of Christ dwells with us.
Jesus, in this world, I have felt the eloquent pain of sorrow and suffering. I have wondered where you are, and whether you are real. But you Lord are never far from me. Help me to know your presence even when I am in the darkest places. Amen.