AS A MOTHER EAGERLY ANTICIPATES THE BIRTH OF HER CHILD [JOHN 16:20-23]
We are now in that special time between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost. During these days, let us focus on welcoming the Holy Spirit into our hearts and into the Church, for He is our only hope. During our time on earth, we often “weep and lament” (John 16:20). We struggle with sin and temptation, with pain and sickness and death. Yet our hope lies in Jesus, our Redeemer. The Holy Spirit’s coming to dwell within the hearts of believers on Pentecost was the proof that by His death and resurrection Jesus has reconciled us to the Father and defeated Satan.
When Jesus said good-bye to His disciples, He told them they would experience sorrow and pain in this world, but that they should not lose hope. He compared the pain of this world to the pain of childbirth, where the joy of a new child more than makes up for the anguish experienced during labor. In the same sense, the suffering we experience in this life is temporary, while the joy of heaven awaits those who believe and trust in God.
Our lives are secure in the Father’s hands. Like the disciples, we may mourn over our sin and over the darkness in the world. At the same time, however, we can rejoice in the power and love of our God. We can rejoice because we know Him in whom we have believed, and we are confident that He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him until the final day (2 Timothy 1:12). As a mother eagerly anticipates the birth of her child, we too can look forward to eternal joy at the second coming, whatever our current situation.
Jesus conquered sin, death, and the world. We can face daily challenges with hope because our lives have been bought and paid for by the blood of our Savior. Since we belong to Jesus, nothing can rob us of our hope. The darkness in the world may grieve, but our hope can remain strong because of the power and love our Father. We can trust that when Jesus returns, our every need will be fulfilled and all suffering will end.
Jakarta, 30 May 2014
A Christian Pilgrim