“In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”
Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.”
When we are suffering, it’s hard to imagine life ever getting better. We get so emotionally consumed by the hardships we endure that we can’t refocus our minds and hearts on what could bring us hope. When you are lying in a hospital bed, it’s hard to remember the comforts of home. When you face a financial setback, it’s hard to imagine that new blessings will eventually flow. When your heart has been broken, it’s hard to believe you will feel loved again.
Jesus knew the disciples were about to fall off a cliff of emotional distress. He was going to the cross, and they would watch him die. His body would be sealed in a tomb, and they would feel alone and afraid. And yet, Jesus had told them time and time again that after his suffering and death He would rise again. Now, He uses different words to give them the same hope: you won’t see me for a while, but then you will see me again. You will “weep and mourn,” but then “your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.” All of this was good news. He was going to die as the Savior of the world, and then He was going to rise again in victory over death. It was the wonderful news of God’s plan of redemption, but in those first hours and days the disciples would be crushed by the emotional toll of Jesus dying on the cross.
We know what that’s like. We struggle to trust in the promise of better days ahead when all we see around us is hardship and pain. That’s why we need to return to God’s word and read the wonderful promises He has made, like the promise of resurrection and eternal life. For “a little while” we may suffer, but no matter what we face, we have the assurance of blessing, restoration and salvation through Jesus Christ. So, don’t lose heart and don’t stop trusting in the promises of God that always come true.
Father, You have promised to love me through this life and for eternity. Thank You for being always faithful and always good. Help me to trust You when life is hard and to give thanks for Your many blessings. I love You and trust You, through Jesus my Savior. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian