Tears in a Bottle
The Bible has much to say about our tears. The women in our support group this past Monday evening also had much to say about tears.
One woman is learning to grieve and cry. After years and years of putting up with harsh words and emotional abuse, wearing a happy face to cover up her pain, she is learning to cry real tears. She is allowing herself to feel the great sadness she experienced as the wife of an abusive, unfaithful, narcissist husband. Her tears flowed non-stop this past weekend as her son packed to move to another state where he has taken a new job. She said, “It was supposed to be the both of us helping him to pack and move.” She grieves the loss of a dream to the reality of abuse.
Most of the women in the circle agreed that they cry a little everyday, sometimes a lot everyday. We keep our box of tissue handy for these support meetings.
Tears can actually inspire us and help us to heal. Here’s a poem written by one of our women (M.A.) when she was sixteen years old…
Tears can come out with surprise.
Tears aren’t just watery eyes,
they are a feeling of emotion.
They can come out as easy as lotion.
They can make you feel better,
even though your eyes are wetter.
Tears can come when you are sad,
or even when you are glad.
Nobody can control tears.
Tears are totally on their own.
Tears can cause sorrow.
I’m pretty sure there may be tears today.
they’ll be gone tomorrow.
In Scripture, Psalm 42 is well-known for “as the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” But just a little further on, the psalmist tells us that “tears have been my food day and night…” Imagine all those salty tears.
Even King David, a strong warrior of the nation of Israel, knew tears and grief and fear. Here’s what he sang in Psalm 6, verse 6 – “I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.”
In his despair, he cries out to God in Psalm 56: “You have kept count of my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Our tears are so precious to the Lord that He saves them. In His great compassion, He catches them in a bottle and preserves them. Our tears crinkle the pages of His book. My Bible is full of tear-crinkled pages…
Our only hope is that our gracious, attentive, loving Father in heaven knows our heartaches, our pain and hurts, our lostness and wanderings, our fears, our brokenness, our hopelessness. He does not walk away, or even turn away. Praise God that He does not say, “Get your act together and then maybe I’ll check in with you.”
In His great loving mercy, He stoops down to wipe away our tears, to hold us in His everlasting arms and to tell us “It’s okay, I’m here, my child, my love.”
Like a father with a child who has fallen and skinned up her knee, He is there to comfort and to promise healing. His presence in our pain is our peace. He will never leave us in our sadness and tears.
And someday, there will be no more tears. I think those bottles of tears will be traded in for oceans of joy when we get Home. It says in Isaiah chapter 25, verse 8 “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces…”
And finally from Revelation 21, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Dear Lord Jesus, Savior of all the world, man of sorrows and acquainted with the most bitter grief on the Cross of Calvary, please comfort us now. In our despair of striving in our own strength, we give up and surrender to Your lovingkindness, to Your wonderful grace and forgiveness. Although we grieve the sin and violence in this life, we look forward to that Day of Glory when we see You face to face. Because of Your powerful love, we ask that you please save our tears in your bottle today and gently wipe them away on that coming eternal Day.
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