Check out our new podcast at the right of this page: "Three Keys for Negotiating the Present Crisis" When you're two you get the most mileage you can out of each little boo-boo. Sometimes we're still doing that when we're 22 and 52 and 82. Some time ago Caleb, our two-year old grandchild number six (I had to stop and count), pulled some sort of furniture over on himself at church and got quite a scare. It hurt at first but fortunately it was more noise than actual damage and it earned him quite a bit of cuddling and loving from mama, while he cried the necessary number of tears. He finally decided that maybe he wasn't going to die after all. My wife happened to be visiting in the States at the time, and when she entered the room the rain clouds had nearly passed and the last few drops were falling. But when the tyke saw Grandma the tears and lamentations started up all again as he went to her for some additional comfort and tear drying.
Honestly, that condition lasts basically our whole life. But, as much as we love to be comforted, wouldn't it be great to live in a world where nothing could hurt us? Just these last few weeks a couple of friends lost their 38-year old son in a motorcycle accident; a teenage friend lost her mom to cancer; a pastor friend lost his wife and daughter in an automobile accident; and other friends' son-in-law died of a heart attack. Some of you may have lost your job or a lot of money on investments in the recent financial upheaval. Most homeowners have seen the value of their house nosedive or maybe even lost it. Family divisions plague others, while depression and frustration eat away at the foundation of so many lives.
Are you crying? Would it surprise you to know that God is a weeping God? John remarked that 'Jesus wept.” (John 11:35). He's a God who sends crying men to preach 'Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears,” Paul said. (Acts 20:30, NIV) Would it shock you to know that He values tears so highly that he collects them in his bottle, and records them in His book? (Ps. 56:8) There are probably a lot of tears mixed into our intercessory prayers that are used in heavenly worship! (Rev. 8:4)! God not only cries with us but He promised an age when all tears that spring from pain will be wiped away”"and He will personally do the drying. The Lord promises this through Isaiah: 'He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.” (Es. 25 :8).
He gives us a glimpse of the day that this happens through John : « I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good”"tears gone, crying gone, pain gone”"all the first order of things gone." The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down”"each word dependable and accurate." (Rev. 21:3-5, The Message)
But it's not just in the future that the Lord Jesus dries tears. He's busy doing it now just as he did when He walked on the earth. Once He encountered a widow, attending the funeral of her only son, 'When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, "Don't cry." (Luke 7:13, The Message) Do you think God doesn't suffer when you hurt? When He took your pains, sicknesses, and sins on his own back He felt it (Isaiah 53:4). When you bring what makes you cry to Him, He cries with you. But He also hears your prayer and begins to act in your behalf. I think we'd be surprised if we could look at God and see how often tears stream down His face. And He gives us the same heart of compassion for others and their needs. Real Christianity is a 'crybaby” faith. As Jesus was touched by our pains, we're touched by the pain of others and we respond, just like He responds to our pain. Don't be afraid to cry before Him. Bring your need to Him right now. He really does care. Earth is often a place of tears, but we are coming to a Kingdom where tears of pain will have no place. He'll personally wipe them all away. I have a strong feeling, though, that there will be tears in heaven-- tears of joy. __________________________
Hmmm... 'Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common brush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.” Elisabeth Barret Browning