Encouraged to Ask

Somewhere along the way, many of us became afraid to ask - afraid to ask for clarification and understanding, afraid to ask for what we need, afraid to ask for help, and afraid to ask because we might be shamed for asking. Jesus affirms our need to ask questions of one another, of him and especially of his Father. Let's bring our questions. Allow ourselves to be known in our questions. Feel our need and dependence on God. Listen for the Father's heart in the answer which comes and in the waiting for an answer which can seem like forever. Then let's watch to see what happens to our joy.

John 16: 17-24 (NLT)
Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? 18 And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
19 Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. 20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. 21 It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. 22 So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. 23 At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. 24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.

For Reflection and Prayer:
Was there a word, a phrase, or an image that stood out as you listened? Linger there awhile with Jesus.
Consider your familiarity with grief and with joy and how the Lord feels present to you there. What do you notice? Do any invitations rise to the surface?

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