John 16:21

“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”-John 16:21

As a man, I will never know the anguish of labor, nor the joy of having given birth. Both, I imagine, possess an intensity of emotion I cannot fully access. Yet I do know the joy that comes on the other side of pain.

Recently, I got my third tattoo, a shoulder piece that took about 2 ½ hours. For 150 minutes I endured needles going into my skin literally thousands of times. Although I acknowledge that it is a silly example next to childbirth, I chose the pain because I knew what awaited me on the other side.

In this life, we will never be without pain. Relationships will fail. Jobs will be lost. People will lose everything. Pain is a part of life under the sun, yet for those of us who have placed our trust in God, our pain is not final. In Christ, we gaze beyond the dark night and with longing and hope, anticipating a joy-filled morning.

Jesus, in seasons of pain, sorrow, and anguish, my vision narrows. When I see only darkness in front of me, I forget the beautiful vistas that await me in your presence. Fill my eyes with hope. Amen.

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