The Gift of Tears

“And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, ‘O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!’” 2 Samuel 18:33

“You have kept count of my tossings;
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your book?”
Psalm 56:8

“Those who sow in tears
    shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’” John 11:33-36

Surprise news of a longed-for pregnancy. A wake-up message with a picture of a newborn first grandchild. A retirement announcement after 12 years of outstanding leadership. Wedding vows of God’s redeemed. An overwhelming gratitude for a godly legacy. Tears blur our vision as a lump chokes our throat.

A rainbow. Tears glisten.

Diagnosed dementia. Returned cancer. Crackled booms of warfare, sirens, shouts of temper and violence. The heinous death of a rebel child. Long days of isolated loneliness. The peaceful death of an over-sixty-year marriage partner. Tears flow with gasps, throbs, sobs.

A soldier’s reunion with his family. Tears roll down quivering cheeks.

These episodes each bring tears, unbidden, welling up from that secret place designed by our loving Creator. Every squeeze of the heart, every salty drop, is a gift of His unimaginable goodness and grace.

Tears dampen many a page in Scripture: tears of emotion at the inerrant truth and exquisite beauty of what we read; tears at tracing the scarlet thread of Jesus’s blood and love from beginning to end; tears of agony, desperation, rejoicing, conviction, longing. (Matthew 26:75; Luke 19:41-42; Acts 2:37-38)

The tears elicited from God’s words are ours to let fill our eyes and flow in intimate communion with our Savior. He not only knows and understands them, but counts them as He shares in our sorrows and joys and delights in our dependence and expression. We are practicing what He has made us to be, life in His image that is being sanctified in every aspect, body, soul, spirit. As Jesus bore the imprint of God’s nature, so we bear His imprint on ours. (Genesis 1:26-27; Hebrews 1:2-3)

Lord, thank You for the gift of tears. Make me more like You, in every way, as I share in Your life. May I weep as You wept. May my tears bring glory to the intricate beauties of Your creation of man.

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