Tears in a Bottle


Tears.  A result of emotions.  Grief.  Pain.  Fear.  Sometimes joy.

The tear ducts in our eyes were designed by God Himself, so it is a given that God expects us to cry at times yet phrases such as “fight back the tears”  and “big boys don’t cry”  portray our uncomfortableness with tears.

When you think of someone crying, what is your gut level response?  Do you want to embrace them and take away the tears?  Or maybe you want to get away.  You are uncomfortable with tears. 

Crying comes from a strong response within us to the events and emotions of life. Responding to one another’s tears sometimes feels like playing Russian Roulette.  Do I hug you when you cry or should I ignore you if you’d rather be left alone?  Do I highlight your struggle or pretend it is better denied?

What does God think of our tears?  They are so valuable that God says he saves them in a bottle 

You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book. 

TLB Psalm 56:8. 

Yet how often do we hurry to wipe away our tears?  Personally, I really would prefer not to cry in front of you.  I resist sharing my pain so openly.  I would rather you not know what is happening deep within me.

Why is that? Is it my fear of your criticism? Is it pride? Is it my fear of sharing the most real parts of myself with another who could so easily choose to reject or accept my heart?

A glimpse into the Word shows us that God responds to our tears.  Not only is he not uncomfortable with tears, (I know it’s a double negative, but I needed it!) He places value upon them. 

2 Kings 20:5 I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you…

Luke 7:44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with hertears and wiped them with the hair of her head.

Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”   And Jesus responded.

Ecclesiastes 3 so beautifully reaffirms the purpose in tears.

To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven…

A time to weep,

And a time to laugh;

A time for every purpose under heaven.  A purpose in our tears

I think tears are a part of healing.  They give us a way to release pain and grief. 

I am body, soul, and spirit.  If I am unable to share my tears, am I perhaps denying a part of the image of God within me?  Jesus wept openly and bitterly, unashamedly displaying strong emotions.  Can I?

So many times I have struggled to hide my tears.  I have fought them.  I don’t want anyone to know I hurt enough to cry.  I value strength and surely I am not strong when I weep, am I?

Jesus was strong, yet he submitted himself to the emotional release of his tears at times.  He modeled what it looks like for a person to be filled with God and walk in their humanity.

Strength in weakness.  Strength in realness.  Strength in vulnerability.  Am I in reality a stronger person when I can truthfully share my pain? 

One day the season of tears will end.

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death forever,

And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;

Until then, there will be some tears upon all of our cheeks.  One day in the realm of eternity, I won’t need that bottle anymore.  But for now, isn’t it good to know He cares enough to affirm that He not only sees but He responds by bottling up every tear as a valuable part of our earthly existence that is already transcending into eternity?

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