The Gift of Tears (Part 1)

“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 (NLT)

Ummm… excuse me, God? I think you’re gonna need a bucket…

I don’t know why I kept this picture. I guess maybe I wanted to remember the many excruciating, precious nights of clinging to the feet of Jesus, washing His feet with my tears. Even though it’s extremely painful, expressing my emotions to God has become a lifeline for me. There was a time when a bottle would have been more than enough to hold my tears. Throughout my teenage years and my twenties, I rarely cried. Actual years went by without me shedding a tear. There were many reasons for this, some I’m still figuring out. I didn’t think people were supposed to cry. I was embarrassed by tears. I thought they made me look weak and needy. I was afraid that once I started, I would never be able to stop. And mostly, I didn’t want to let myself feel the kind of pain that produces tears.

So I bottled up my emotions… but that wasn’t my job. It was God’s job, according to Psalm 56. But He can’t bottle up our tears unless we give them to Him. God knows that tears are precious treasures and they are never wasted. He keeps our emotions close to His heart. Did you know that humans are the only creations that cry emotional tears (Psychology Today)? Isn’t that amazing? God gave us a beautiful gift when He gave us emotions but we often fear and resist the gift. He gave us hearts that reflect His, but we turn them off.

Jesus was a very emotional man, and we are to be like Him. Why do we resist so hard? I read something the other day that touched my heart. “Jesus knew Lazarus would rise again. Still, he wept. Because embracing pain does not negate faith. It’s actually part of being in the likeness of God. So have hope, but don’t deny your emotions. Pay attention to them. Feel what you feel. And enjoy the coming resurrection” (Carlos A. Rodriguez). We sometimes think that being sad means we lack faith, but that is so far from the truth. I wish I could throw that lie as far as the east is from the west! Tears are Christlike. That’s why I think Satan has created a war against them. He has inserted so many lies into our wounds that make us believe feelings are to be avoided. But Jesus never hid His tears. In fact, He prayed “with loud cries and tears” (Hebrews 5:7). David cried so much that he talked about his tears being his food (Psalm 42:3) and flooding his bed with them (Psalm 6:6). Mary washed Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 7:38). Paul often accompanied his writings and teachings with tears (2 Corinthians 2:4). Tears move the heart of God. How can we resist the chance to share something so precious with Him?

I am not, by any means, communicating that I am cured of my aversion to tears. Far from it. Once it becomes such a habit to avoid something, it becomes a pit in your brain and it’s difficult to climb out of that pit. In fact, just writing this post has caused trembling panic and a headache because of my instinct fight-or-flight response to tears. But I am getting better. My tears are helping to heal me when I allow them to fall. I have much more to say about this topic, so much so that this post was getting lengthy. So I’ve decided to give it a whole series. I hope it will be healing for me to talk about a subject I have avoided for a very long time and I hope it will be healing for you as we appreciate the gift of tears. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time for a good cry…

Song I’m feeling: Tears of Praise, by God and me

“Creator of this world and Painter of the sky
Your beauty goes beyond my words and Your joy fills my eyes
Protector of my soul through trials and through pain
You’re patient in my sorrows when my tears fall like rain

There’s a deep river of love flowing through my heart 
Welling up to overflow with the blessings You impart
When the floods rise in times of joy and pain
Drops of love flow from my eyes that my heart cannot contain
You, oh Lord, accept my tears of pain
Because deep in my heart of hearts, they’re all tears of praise.

Giver of all good and of blessings from above
And the gifts from those who understand and who walk with me in love
Healer of my grief and Lifter of my head
I place my life into Your hands for whatever lies ahead

There’s a deep river of love flowing through my heart
Welling up to overflow with the blessings You impart
When the floods rise in times of joy and pain
Drops of love flow from my eyes that my heart cannot contain
You, oh Lord, accept my tears of pain
Because deep in my heart of hearts, they’re all tears of praise.

Take my life, the blessings and the pain
It’s all for You, Your glory, and all my tears of praise.”

Stay tuned for the next post in the series… hopefully coming in the next few days…

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Author: Karina Baker

Hello, my dear friends! Glad to see you here. Thank you for reading about my beautiful rubble - my struggles with life, faith, and autoimmunity. Feel free to share your stories in the comments. My love and prayers to all of you!

2 thoughts on “The Gift of Tears (Part 1)”

  1. I once saw pictures from a protest… I think it was a westboro baptist thing but I don’t recall for sure. But there was a sign that read “God hates your tears”. And it made me so angry. I wanted to counter. How dare they malign and misrepresent my God? He sees and counts our tears and feels the truest empathy. Our pain, and all the ways it manifests, are known by Him. And we are held dear and close. So close He can catch those tears as they fall. Even the times our pain is a result of our wayward ways. Even when He tried to direct us away from the choices that led there. Even then, when He could say I told you so (and like a father He will lovingly reprimand us) even then He beckons us to cry on His shoulder and tells us over and over that He loves us.
    Thank you for speaking to the gift of tears. I look forward to reading more.

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