In the middle of the night, tossing and turning and so very worried and restless, I say, "Troy tell me what to read to settle my brain down."
He rolls over and groggily says, "Read John 15 and 16."
Jesus said: My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you. There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. You celebrate our friendship if you obey this command. I don't call you servants any longer; servants don't know what the master is doing, but I have told you everything the Father has said to Me. I call you friends. You did not choose Me. I chose you, and I orchestrated all of this so that you would be sent out and bear great and perpetual fruit. As you do this, anything you ask the Father in My name will be done. This is My command to you: love one another.
The Voice paraphrase John 15:12-17
Jesus said: Are you trying to figure out what I mean when I say you will see Me in a little while? I tell you the truth, a time is approaching when you will weep and mourn while the world is celebrating. You will grieve, but that grief will give birth to great joy. In the same way that a woman labors in great pain during childbirth, only to forget the intensity of the pain when she holds her child, when I return, your labored grief will also change into a joy that cannot be stolen.
The Voice paraphrase John 16:19-22
I smile at these chapters Troy has unknowingly chosen perfectly from his sleepy stuppor.
Yes. The reminder that He chooses us. The command to love. I sigh a heavy knowing sigh at the grief, labor, and pain metaphor. I feel His nearness in that moment - and in the promise that grief will one day give birth to great joy.