I made it home late Saturday night, and after a long Sunday, now I’m enjoying this Monday morning. I like Mondays. I have the whole week ahead of me, culminating in a great Sunday. A week filled with challenges, problems, tears and emotions, but also with solutions, joy and success.
We’d always rather have one aspect of life rather that the other, the one with solutions, joy and success. But without these contrasts, life loses its dynamic. In the Psalms it says that “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”
On the mission field, this dynamic becomes very evident. This past Thursday in Nepal, I baptized Joyti. Her life has been incredibly difficult. She doesn’t really know her own age, and it is impossible to comprehend the ways people have abused her. She was broken, crushed, and fear of men was crawling all over her.
But the Joyti that I baptized on Thursday had become a different person! Jesus has done a miracle in her soul. She is starting to come out of her crushed shell, and even though there is a lot of work left to do, that dynamic is so wonderful to see firsthand: How Jesus can take what is dark, damaged, dirtied, insulted and vulnerable and create something new, clean and beautiful. Seeing people go from darkness to light, from being trampled on to gaining self-confidence, from being humiliated to becoming valuable, is grace from God. It is such a blessing every time I get to see and experience it.
But you know, there are contrasts in our own lives as well. Couples who have successful marriages say, “The great thing about a major fight is the reconciliation afterwards.”
Living with Jesus is dynamic. There will be tears. There will be joy. You might have tears today, but Jesus promises that tears will be followed by joy. Where there’s a problem, there’s also a way out of that problem. If you are climbing uphill now, then there must be a downhill slope, and if you are struggling and facing problems, then know that when God created the problem, he created the solution too!