"You number and record my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle--are they not in Your book?" Psalm 56:8 (AMP)
My family is in deep mourning. My brothers and I were talking yesterday about how sad it is that it takes a funeral to bring us all together anymore. Life is so busy, so complicated, with never-ending details to take care of. Or so it seems. A phone call last Tuesday night had the power to sweep everything off of our schedules in a moment. Suddenly, we had no plans that could be more important than getting to our brother and sister as fast as we could. Nothing could take precidence over holding and comforting each other through the valley of the shadow of death that Greg and Nicol are passing through right now. We want to hover over them, say the words that will ease the pain, bind up their broken hearts, and help them start living their new sense of normal. Yet, as much as we want to help, we cannot do what only God can.
Enough tears have been shed by all of us to swim in. And when the tears do not come, our bones literally ache with the pain of the emptiness we all feel over having to say good-bye to little Luke. What does God do with all those tears that drop off our faces and evaporate in the cold wind of sorrow? What happens to those wet reminders of our grief that come pouring from our eyes? Do they mean anything to Him?
Does God ever cry? Scripture tells me that He does. I have seen a side of Jesus I never realized existed until I did Beth Moore's study, Jesus the One and Only. I have always believed that Jesus is fully God. He is as much God as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are. But I never related to Jesus being fully human until that study. The moment the light dawned on His humanness to me was when Beth had us look at Christ's agony in the garden of Gethsemane. He was in so much anguish that He sweat drops of blood. He begged His Father to let the cup of agony pass from Him that He was about to endure on the cross. His Godness enabled Him to know what was coming as His humanity felt the dread of the nails in His wrists and feet.
He wept that night in Gethsemane. He screamed from the cross, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me??" My Jesus is real, fully able to empathize with feelings of abandonment in His darkest hour of need. His Father could not bear to look at the sin of the world that He thrust on His innocent, perfect Son. And for the first time in all of eternity, Jesus and His Father were separated. And the Son cried and cried before He gave up His spirit to His Father.
How precious are tears to God? So precious that He has written them down in a book and recorded every single one of them. He also has put them in His bottle. One day, there will be no more tears. Will God the Father take the bottle of the tears of His precious Son and His human children and cast them into the sea of forgetfulness? I don't know, but it is a comforting thought to me. I look forward to the day when there are no more good-byes, when we experience no more of the valley of the shadow of death that has been swallowed up in victory.
Jesus, in the sea of our tears, let us remember how precious they are to You. Thank you that You experienced what we have felt. Thank you that You a Man of sorrows, fully acquainted with our grief. And when we feel abandoned, let us know the truth that You understand as You carry us through the valley.