My tears have been my food day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?” – Psalm 42:3 ESV
What do your tears say to you? What questions do they ask? What do you do with them? Do you swallow them down or pour them out?
We have cried many tears since the death of our 20 year old son. The first question our tears asked was, “Does God understand how much this hurts?”
Maybe your tears ask with the psalmist, “Where is God?” or maybe they ask:
“Does He hear our prayers?”
“Does God see?”
“Does He care?”
“Did I do something wrong?”
The psalmist turns from swallowing bitter tears to pouring them out before God while repeatedly encouraging himself to “Hope in God” (Psalms 42:5, 11).
Shortly after losing our son, Joel, a clear choice presented itself to us:
a) We could turn away from God, swallow our bitter tears and go to a very dark place or…
b) We could turn to God, pour out our bitter sorrow and encourage ourselves to hope in Him.
This was a choice we had to make many times over; often within a single day.
As we continued to turn to God with our bitter sorrow and place our hope in Him, our tears were answered with God’s love shown to us in Jesus.
In Jesus, we see the sacrificial love of the Father for us (John 3:16).
In Jesus, we see God’s care for the very hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7).
In Jesus, we see Him weeping alongside us at the grave of those we love (John 11:35).
In Jesus, we see Him carry all our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).
In Jesus, we see Him providing forgiveness for our sins at the cross (Luke 23:34).
In Jesus, we see our Resurrection and Life (John 11:25).
In Jesus, we see our Eternal Salvation (Hebrews 5:9).
In Jesus, we have the promise, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).
In Jesus, we have a “firm and secure” hope as an “anchor for our soul” (Hebrew 6:19).
We know that God understands how much this hurts because we see Jesus during the days of His earthly life offering “up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death” (Hebrews 5:7).
We know that God hears our prayers, because this same “Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).
What will you do with your tears? Will you turn with us and pour out your bitter sorrow to God, commit to encourage yourself to hope in Him, and allow His lovingkindness in Jesus to answer your tears?