There are a few times in my life when I’ve taken a big risk. The risk is, as a man, to say to a mother “Ah, now I know what childbirth must feel like”. The response is almost universal – “You have no idea what childbirth is like to naive fool!”. Fair enough.
However, Jesus uses the experience of the pain of childbirth as an image (John 16). Now, because He’s Jesus, he can get away with it – despite being a man! But the idea is that a woman forgets the pain of the past few hours because a baby has been born – her baby. Psalm 30 is full of this idea – that although there is pain – something better is coming – and we will rejoice. Have a read:
1 I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. 2 Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. 3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. 4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
Do you see it? Again and again David (who wrote this psalm) is remembering times when God has turned darkness into light. When He has been rescued.
- You lifted me out of the depths
- I called and you healed
- You brought me up from the realm of the dead
- God’s anger lasts for a moment – but His favour for a lifetime
- Weeping may stay for the night – but rejoicing in the morning
- He turned my wailing into dancing
- You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy
Geddit? This is what God loves to do. In the depths, in the darkness, in the sadness – He comes and takes hold of us. He brings change. Light comes. Joy comes. And the pain and the sadness, the anxiety are increasingly forgotten. All we need to do is hold on – hold onto Him.
I have sat in darkness – and no more so than in recent months & years. I know that He has got me, He is turning crying into rejoicing. Hold onto Him my friend – and you may know this too. This is what our God does.
Much love, Matt