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"Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy." Psalm 126:5

Love is Pain, Love is Joy

I love Disney. I mean, I really love Disney. As a kid, one of my favorite Disney films was Sleeping Beauty. I loved the artwork, the music, the three fairies, the daring rescue, the outfits...I could go on, and on. Watching it again recently, something new struck me: the love of the parents.

King Stephan and his queen made the difficult choice to send their daughter, and only child, away. I can't imagine the pain that must have caused. But they loved their daughter so much that they were willing to send her away in the hopes that she would have a better life. Their love for their daughter brought lots and lots of pain, but that pain made their reunion all the more sweet.

The same is true for God. He loved us so much that he was willing to send his son, and only child, away to Earth and to the cross. God wanted to give us all a better life and so he was willing to send his son in our place. But this choice makes the joy of Heaven that much greater. For both God and Aurora's parents, love is pain and it is joy.

But what about us today? What might we give up or lose knowing

 that it will lead to a better life and a greater joy? Well, Apostle Paul understands that struggle. In Philippians 2, he talks about his assistant and friend who almost died. And even though this experience brought a lot of fear and pain, Paul still focuses on the joy.
[W]elcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me. (Phil 2:29-30)
Paul didn't want this man to die, but he rejoiced in the work that they were able to do together. For Paul, love is pain and it is joy. 

My hope for you this week is that you find joy in the pains of love. As you grieve, sacrifice, or let go of things or people, may you find joy and hope in the promise of Heaven. I encourage you to share your joys with your children and not shy away from the realities of hurt. And remind them of this:
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev. 21:4)

Grace and Peace,
Natalie Claytor
Cell: 419.607.3140
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