I just couldn’t stop crying. Sometimes, I didn’t even know what I was crying about. Was I crying for my deceased wife or was I crying for myself? There was certainly no need to cry for her because she was no longer suffering. I guess most of the tears were shed because I was feeling sorry for myself…feeling abandoned, and feeling isolated within the prison of my grief. But regardless of the “why” for the tears, they were all collected in God’s bottle. At least that is what is recorded in Psalm 56:8, “You have kept count of my tossing: put my tears in your bottle.” (ESV) King David penned those words while a POW in Gath. A prisoner of the Philistines. And assumably, someone that had leaky eyes too.
I got to the point that I was no longer ashamed of crying in front of people. My eyes frequently looked as if I had just come from a Cheech and Chong concert, but nothing could have been further from the truth. I was just having a bad day, or a bad week, or a bad month, or even a bad 2 minutes! And according to the Bible, not a single one of those tears were wasted….they were all collected by God. Symbolizing His watchcare over me.
God doesn't just collect our tears, but He is emotionally moved by our tears. One example is when He was confronted by a grieving sister over the loss of her brother. Mary, in a heap at the feet of Jesus, wailed, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!” Verse 33 in the narrative of John 11 enlightens us on the reaction of Jesus to his good friend Mary’s terse comment, “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” And two verses later, we read that even “Jesus wept.” So how can crying be so bad?
Jesus wept over the death of His friend Lazarus, He wept over the lostness of the Jews in Jerusalem. He wept when He prayed (Hebrews 5:7).
So why should any of us feel ashamed when our vulnerabilities are exposed through the transparency of our tears? Its just natural. Its an emotional release. And it certainly doesn’t go unobserved by a God that loves us and has empathy for our struggle.
God sees every bird that falls to the ground (Mt 10:29). God knows the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7). And God is aware of more than follicles and fowl, He is aware of the depth of the pain that you and I are experiencing when life delivers a “Sucker Punch!” So pour your heart out to Him and allow Him to minister to your spirit through His Word, His people, and His presence.
In Heaven, “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”(Rev 21:4)…that will indeed be a great time. But until then, “cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you.” (Psalm 55:22) He has certainly sustained me! The tears are not nearly as frequent as they used to be, but I still need His strength and power to live for Him each day.
Even in the midst of all that I have gone through in the last 3 years, I am convinced that God is, without a doubt, A GOOD GOD! And I hope that you could believe the same, even though I know that you probably feel as if God’s bottle for you is full and overflowing! He is still there with you. Reach out and trust Him with your pain….He can handle it….I promise. Not because I read a book on it, but because I have lived it.