Sunday, March 9, 2014

InsightOut: Tears Are a Language God Understands

InsightOut: Tears Are a Language God Understands: It was with anticipation and excitement that I grabbed the ringing phone to sit down and have a long awaited chat with a dear friend. We ha...

Tears Are a Language God Understands

It was with anticipation and excitement that I grabbed the ringing phone to sit down and have a long awaited chat with a dear friend. We had been having trouble connecting with each other recently and it looked like today was finally the day we could catch up with a good talk.  I was prayerful that the Lord would use me to encourage my sweet friend in the midst of all the struggles and trials she and her family had experienced in recent months. We had the normal "good to hear your voice" and "how are the kids" chat.  I was feeling confident that I was "spiritually prepared" for a wonderful conversation with "Mrs." and curled up in a comfy chair with the phone in my ear.  I don't remember exactly the timing of it all, but it was pretty early in the phone call that "Mrs." sincerely asked, "How are YOU?"  It started deep within my soul--this unnamed hurricane swirling within my chest. What in the world was happening to me?  I tried to answer "Mrs." but I couldn't.  After an awkward pause, she asked, "Are you there?"  Yes, I was here but those words lay silent upon my quivering lips.  Despite my feeble attempt to hold it back, my emotional hurricane of some recent heartbreaking disappointments, fatigue, and even the merciful presence of God's grace in my life made landfall and a torrential stream of tears flowed down my face.  I was sucking in air, my voice was cracking, and I knew this was welling up to be one ugly cry!!! Eventually, I was able to answer my clueless friend (as in unaware) but would never fully regain control of my storm throughout the remainder of our conversation.

Has that ever happened to you?  Have you ever been ready to talk to someone calmly only to have a major meltdown through tears?  It's so aggravating!!!  Believe it or not, there was once a time in my life that I couldn't cry.  My childhood was, let's say, less than ideal and I learned at an early age not to cry over hurts that were bigger than spilt milk.  I carried that hardness into my teenage years and my early 20's.  It was only after a loss of a child that I allowed God to soften my callused heart and I gave myself permission to cry tears of grief.  After that time in my life, it became easier to shed tears of joy, compassion, forgiveness, happiness, anger (don't recommend it), repentance (recommend it), and unfortunately, more grief.  

Someone once told me that God had bottles for our tears.  I thought I'd check that one out (because I have the sweetest, most tenderhearted friend, Denyce, that I'm sure has oodles of bottles stored in heaven!) and here's what I found.   Psalm 56:8b says, "put thou my tears into thy bottle:  are they not in thy book?"  Apparently women use to slide their tears into bottles for their men who were off at war. When the men came home, the women could then show the men how much they lamented their absence (women--always looking for attention!).   But this verse says THY bottle and THY book.  My tears do not only fall on earthly soil but God gathers them into HIS heavenly bottles and at that moment, I am remembered by a loving and compassionate God who knows my pain, my sorrow, my joy, and my heartache. Isn't that just beautiful!!!!  (I know!  I could cry too!)

I am thankful for my gracious friend that day that had to patiently listen to my wailings and blubbering speech.  I am thankful she was compassionate enough to even say, "Let's pray about it!"  and did.   I am even more thankful to an invisible God who sees my visible tears and gathers the drops for His bottle and then writes it down.  I am humbled that His ears are attentive to my cry (Psalms 34:15).  Thank you gracious and merciful God for loving me!  Praise your Holy name!