I cried yesterday. What a baby, right? It doesn't matter what made me cry. No, it wasn't the end of “Forrest Gump” or “Romeo and Juliet”. It wasn't even brought on by the Dallas Cowboys. It was something to do with God's direction of my immediate future. And this morning my best friend gave me words of encouragement that made me realize how God views our tears. At first thought you might think that God's mighty men of valor have the strength and intestinal fortitude to squelch any outward expressions of emotions and simply march towards victory in the joy of the Lord. But as I thought about it sitting here at my keyboard, I realized that I am in a pretty good company of those who had tears stream down their faces.
1. King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:5 and Isaiah 38:5)
2. Queen Esther (Esther 8:3)
3. Ruth (Ruth 1:14)
4. Job (Job 16:20)
5. Jonathan (1 Sam 20:41)
6. King David- what a total crybaby. He cried all over Psalms. (Psalm 6:6, etc.)
7. David's might men of valor (1 Sam 30:4)
8. Timothy (2Tim 1:4)
9. Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:4)
10. Paul – another crybaby (2Cor 2:4, Acts 20:31)
11. Jeremiah (called the weeping prophet, too many instances to name)
12. Peter (Luke 22:62)
13. John (Revelation 5:4)
14. Mary (John 20:11)
Heck, even the Lord Jesus himself cried. Remember the shortest scripture in the Bible? Two words: Jesus wept. (John 11:35) And were those misty-eyed man tears? Look at this:
“While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.” Hebrews 5:7 (New Living Translation)
So what does God think about all this crying going on down here? One might think he would stand up from his throne and yell with the rumbling of thunder “Quit yer crying you weenies and man-up!” But we find another scenario in relation to God in the Bible. He actually thinks our tears are precious, and cherishes them enough to save them in a bottle.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 (New Living Translation)
So it seems that our crying is not in vain. It is noted from above. And it is welcomed as part of a purging process that is divinely inspired. Look at what both the Old and New Testaments have to say about God's part in our crying:
“The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.” Isaiah 25:8
“And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4
This doesn't look to me like a God that shuns our crying. But one who connects intimately with our sorrow and grief. So go on and cry if you need to. And see if a friend will show up with the finger of God to help wipe away your tears.