Mary saying “yes” to the will of God meant her saying yes to the pain of labour and other pains to come. If you want to say “Yes” to making space for God in and through you, it will mean saying yes to pain in one shape or form. Is it always so? I have come to believe, “Yes: always,” in answer to that question. That is not meant to be morbid, nor is it intended to push into the background the overwhelming joy that Mary expressed in the Magnificat, or the uncontainable joy that we may experience and express in almost violent, warrior like terms when we see God fulfilling His purposes, making His name known.
I have ministered in times of ease and in times of suffering, and all I know is that pain and joy were both part of the story of God being made manifest. They belong together. Perhaps if you are suffering at the moment, you feel out of sync with the message of joy that prevails at this time of the year, but you may be in a very vital place in the story of the continuing incarnation of God in the world.
Henri Nouwen puts it like this in a pastoral letter: “…the cutting away of rocks might hurt very much and you might not be aware of the space He is creating for Himself.” (“Love, Henri:Letters on the Spiritual Life,” page33.)
May this thought help some of you into rest of soul.