My wife loves giving birth. I know right!? That seems entirely foreign to me. I have been there. I have experienced…the screaming…the tears…the fear…the panic…and that doesn’t even include what Sarah may have been feeling.
Sarah had long labors…the shortest one being around 13 hours and the longest pushing 36 hours. I remember the long grueling walks, during the nine, post-due date days, while expecting our fourth born. I am pretty sure I developed plantar fasciitis from those walks. Sarah then labored all through the night, at home, before going into the hospital at 4:30 in the morning. I don’t do well with such a lack of sleep.
Our third born brought a particularly hard labor, after hours of attempts to induce labor activity, I was forced to sleep in an uncomfortable recliner for the night. I remember having to rub Sarah’s lower back continuously the next day, while my cheeseburger got cold.
It has always struck me that after each delivery Sarah would verbally state, “I love that feeling. When it’s all over, and I hold my baby for the first time…it’s all worth it.”
That’s pretty impressive.
Jesus uses these experiences as a metaphor in John 16:16-33. He is telling His disciples that He is leaving...but He will see them again in a “little while.” Jesus says to them, “You will feel grief”…pain…but, like the pain of a mother giving birth, it will last a short while, and then they will be overcome with a joy that will last forever.
Jesus promises…that He will return and with His return, a joy that will last, and last, and last. He will not die again. He will not leave again. He brings a joy that will last.