If you’re the sort who carries tissues in your purse and says, “sorry, I’m a crier,” in Bible studies and on coffee dates, you probably make me a little uncomfortable. That makes me doubly thankful for you.
People like me, whose husbands say “you are?” and squint when we admit we’re crying, need you. We see something of God in you that isn’t so evident in us- God is both holy and expressive. He isn’t ashamed of emotions.
Further, God designed us to feel and express- and there’s no shame in that, either.
How God Uses Tears
God gave us tear ducts, and wired our bodies to wet our eyes. He made crying a universal response to strong emotions, one that stretches to every part of the world and throughout history.
The Psalmist shows God counts tears as precious, saying:
“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.” –Psalm 56:8
God counts and pays attention to the details of our lives. He keeps track of our faithfulness in little things, how many hairs are on our heads, and every word we speak. Not a minute or thought or feeling escapes his notice.
But God’s Word emphasizes something more than paying attention when it comes to tears. He collects our tears- happy or sad.God doesn't just notice our tears. He collects them. To God, our tears are meaningful. They are dear. Click To Tweet
Other passages give us a few hints as to the place tears have in God’s design.
- Tears Convey Compassion
“Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Not just one time, either. He wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19). In Jeremiah 14:17, God tells Jeremiah to tell His people He is crying over them. Tears convey the depth of God’s feeling for those He loves and that he can experience many feelings at once out of compassion. Sometimes we find our happy tears for others reveal how strongly we share in their feelings, too.
By God’s design, crying shows care and compassion. When you cry with or weep for someone, you demonstrate how greatly you love them- and can point to how deeply God loves them, too.
- To Comfort You
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). When God sets all things right, there won’t be a cause or need for tears any longer, so God will wipe them all away. We’ll at peace, whole, at the pinnacle of joy, but perpetually.
In the meantime, as long as there is death, mourning, and pain, responding with tears makes sense. They’re comforting for the crier. They show that God makes a way for us to respond to and express that something is wrong- and He agrees- something is wrong! That’s why He hasn’t wiped away the tears yet.
- To Comfort and Celebrate Others
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those weep” (Romans 12:15). If you’re a crier, this charge from God might come quite naturally to you. Use your tears to share joy and sorrow. Offer them to others to show you’re sharing in their burden or blessing. Crying can be a big part of comforting or celebrating with others- even people like me, who will have no idea what to do but appreciate not being red-faced and sniffly alone.Tears show that God makes a way for us to respond to and express that something is wrong- and He agrees- something is wrong! That's why He hasn't wiped away the tears yet. Click To Tweet