I was reading an article the other day in which the writer gave a list of parental phrases and then asked how many of them you recognized from the mouths of your own mother or father. Believe it or not, one of the top responses was: “Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about!” I remember my own parents saying that quite frequently to me and my siblings! And occasionally they used to follow through on their threat! But that’s another story for another day! Now I know that God doesn’t treat us in that way when we are brought to tears.
I have always cried rather easily, both out of happiness and out of sadness. One year my friend Sheryl decided to surprise me with a gift for my birthday. She was an incredible baker and loved to decorate her creations with all sorts of incredible things; so that year she made me a birthday cake in the shape of an oblong tissue box, complete with a thin icing tissue half pulled out of the opening. On it were inscribed the words from Psalm 126:5: “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” For the first time I saw my tears as being a strength rather than a weakness and I realized they counted for something beyond what I saw.
The whole of that Scripture found in Psalm 126:5-6 reads: “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” I know this speaks of us sharing God’s Word with others and watering what we have planted with our tears of intercession; but how wonderful to know that as our heart breaks for what breaks God’s heart, He sees the tears that we cry, they matter to Him, they shall bear fruit in the end, and we shall reap in joy eventually.
Tears in Bible times were always something of great value; and there is evidence of people collecting their tears in a bottle as something precious, sometimes even leaving the vials in the tomb of a departed loved one for whom they had wept. The Scriptures speak of God valuing the tears we shed in this way. In Psalm 56:8, the psalmist pictures God’s response to our tears, saying,
“You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?”
God sees each tear that you and I cry; and each drop is valuable to Him! Not one of them is wasted – they are stored up in His bottle as something precious! The New King James version of the text speaks of the fact that the tears are in His book; but this is far more meaningful than their mere recording in God’s register. In other translations, this final line is translated: “But God, are they not also blots on Your page?” How lovely to know that the tears I shed form blots on the page that God is writing, as if He is crying with me!
Revelation 7 and 21 tell us that by the time we stand before His throne in Heaven all tears will be gone; but until then, when you are overwhelmed to the point of tears, remember this: God is there with a heart of compassion. He weeps with those of us who weep. Every tear you shed is precious to Him. Each one is remembered by Him and will be used for His purposes.
© April 2019