It's been a season of loss. So many little things, piling up. The end of homeschooling. My mom visiting and then going home, four states away. The anniversary of my embolism, which caused a flood of survivor's guilt. And then my Life Group ended. There will be no more weekly gatherings with these wonderful, encouraging, loving, sweet women. Each one of these beautiful things came to a natural end. Each leaving a hole in my heart. And then the tears began.
"Stiff upper lip." "Tears are a sign of weakness." "Just stop crying." The lies began to flood over me. Some were even well-meaning comments from well-intentioned friends. But each one was in direct contrast to what the Bible says!
He is aware of our tears.
After the death of Lazarus, Mary goes running to meet Jesus. She is weeping. "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping..." John 11:33a God is not blind to our tears. He knows our heartache. He knows our pain. He created us to experience a full-range of emotions.
He cares about our tears.
There is no shame in tears. God isn't embarrassed about our hurt. He allows us to experience emotional hurt. And then He blesses us. "Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh." Luke 6:21b Not only does he allow our tears, but He has a plan to redeem them for His glory.
He has a plan for our tears.
As Jesus is telling his disciples about His looming crucifixion, He tell them how painful it will be for them, but then He shares the hope: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." John 16:20 God doesn't waste anything. He can use our pain to reveal so much:
-Areas of spiritual weakness: When we experience emotional pain, our response should be to pray and read our Bible. It's there that we will find the answers that heal our souls. There may be areas God is looking for us to grow deeper in.
-Opportunities to minister: We can't truly empathize with someone else's pain until we experience it ourselves. When we emerge from sorrow, we can give a testimony of hope to someone going through similar circumstances.
-Testimony of God's goodness: When the Lord brings us to something and then through something, we can be a witness of the power He has to heal broken hearts.
Remember, tears, for a season, are fine. In fact, they can be purposeful. If your sadness is prolonged, or impedes your ability to carry on with daily tasks, please seek help from a biblical counselor.
Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle:
are they not in thy book?
are they not in thy book?
Terese Main is a morning co-host at Family Life, a network of nearly 70 Christian radio stations across New York and Pennsylvania (www.fln.org). She is a freelance air personality in Nevada, Kansas, Arizona and Texas also provides imaging voicework for stations in Florida, California, Minnesota, Indiana and Wisconsin (www.themainvoice.com).