Read John 16:21-22
21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (NIV)
When we are in dark and troubled times, we may feel as if they will never end. Pain and suffering can be all consuming; they blot out anything and everything else in life. Our horizons have shrunk to our own sad circumstances. The sun might still shine, but it does us no good because of the dark clouds obscuring its light.
It may seem an empty cliché, but we have to claim the truth that the sadness is not forever. There is light ahead. Not necessarily an entire elimination of our pain, but a moderating of it, a willingness to place it in a wider and more hopeful context. Life has its seasons of consolation and desolation. Neither is a permanent condition: they pass.
Those suffering loss and grief experience this. The darkness and sadness is real, but the journey of grief goes on and the darkness and sadness diminish at least a little in time. In our worst moments we think that there will never be any improvement, any relief, any change. But life is not static: we do move on.
Jesus promises us both trouble and joy. In this life we experience both. One day, it will be all joy.