WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 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 16:20-21 ESV
ENJOY THE PAIN
Enterprise, Alabama is famous first as the peanut capital of the United States of America. In the middle of town there is a large boll weevil statue. The reason the statue was placed there was to show appreciation for the boll weevil destroying their cotton crops between 1915 and 1918. The destruction forced them to find another way to generate income and they began growing peanuts and the farmers became wealthy almost overnight. Eventually, their pain led to great wealth.
Jesus used the analogy of a mother’s labor pains leading to the joy of a newborn child. Years ago some close friends were about to have a baby. The nurse asked the wife, “On a scale of 1-10, how bad is your labor pain?” The husband answered for his wife, “She’s about a six.”
Husbands, it is never a good idea to answer that question for your wife while she is in labor. And it’s never a good idea for us to minimize anyone else’s pain. The pain we experience is real and it’s a part of life. It should be expected. But we can also expect that eventually that pain will lead to real joy.
Do you have any “Boll Weevil” statues in your life? Can you think of pain that has led to joy? Do you know of anyone going through a season of struggle? How can you encourage them to hang in there today? Start by praying for them and praying for yourself.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5 ESV