My husband and I had arrived in Russia with excited and anxious hearts a few days before. This day, we sat in an orphanage—in a bleak, sterile hallway on a hard, wooden bench staring in anticipation at a steel door. When that door opened, we hoped to meet the baby boy who would become our son.
For the past year, our lives had been examined under a microscope. We gathered all the necessary documents and finally presented the completed dossier. Then we waited with expectation for “the call” to come and meet our son. Now the wait was almost over.
The steel door opened, and we met our little bundle of joy wrapped in sadness.
Adoption is about loss. From what we know, my son’s birth mother couldn’t provide for his needs, so she chose adoption. What a loss. She will probably never know her son. My husband and I chose adoption because we could not have biological children. It was a tragic and painful loss for us. Our son may never know his birth mother or his birth country.
Yet, all these losses and sorrows are shrouded in joy.
In the same way, the season of Lent and Easter brings joy from pain. In Hebrews, we read, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)
God sent Jesus, His only son, to earth. The pain and sorrow were more than we could ever comprehend. The betrayal, denial, Via Dolorosa and the cross were the road of suffering but led to redemption and restoration.
The path of suffering holds a more remarkable story. God tore the veil in the temple, which symbolized the chasm between the Creator from his creation. Three days later, the angels announced Jesus was not among the dead but alive! Eternal life with God was now a reality.
Chaos and fear attack our peace and joy from all sides these days. The world appears turned upside down. Our anchors seem pulled out from the solid ground beneath us and set us adrift into the raging seas.
All may appear lost, but the truth is we are not without hope or joy. Jesus provides the passage from eternal separation from God to everlasting life with our Father. We have the promise of an eternal tomorrow with no more sorrows and no more tears.
And that is joy wrapped in sadness.