I was reading something the other day where the writer gave a list of parental phrases asking 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! Occasionally they used to follow through on their threat! Now while I don’t for a minute think that all tears are born equal – there are some that surface out of selfishness and pride – 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 and one year my friend Sheryl decided to surprise me with a gift for my birthday. She was an incredible baker and loved to ice her creations and so one year she made me a birthday cake in the shape of an oblong tissue box, complete with a fine icing tissue half pulled out of the opening. On it was inscribed the words: “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” (Psalm 126:5) And for the first time, I saw my tears as being a strength rather than a weakness.
Now the whole thought of that Scripture 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.” This speaks of us sowing in God’s Mission Field 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 and 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 also speak of the way God values the tears we shed, and I love the fact that in Psalm 56:8 God mentions our tears as the Psalmist says:
“You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?”
This has been such a difficult year for many of us but I want you to know that 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 than merely a record of them being kept. In other translations, this final line is rendered “But God, are they not also blots on Your page?” How lovely to know that the tears I shed form blots on the page He 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 remember when overwhelmed to the point of tears: God is there with a heart of compassion. Every drop you cry is precious to Him, each one is remembered by Him and can be used for His purposes.
May God bless you