Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 4, 2018
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Psalm 126:5
Several weeks after my father died, I went grocery shopping. The day had been going well and I was starting to feel some relief from the painful emotions associated with Dad’s passing. I shopped, checked out at the register, and left the store carrying my groceries in a large paper bag. On the way to the car, the sack ripped and all of my purchases fell out of the bottom to the pavement. I instantly crouched to gather my apples, broccoli, and soup and started to wail. Big tears rolled down my cheeks. Someone walked by. I wondered if they thought I was crazy. What woman cries when she drops her groceries? After a few moments I regained my composure, stood, walked to my car, and drove away.
On the way home, I realized my tears weren’t about my paper sack disaster. They were about the grief of losing my father. I was also reminded of something I had learned somewhere on life’s journey: Grief often comes in waves; just like the ocean’s tide, it rolls in and out. One moment you’re doing fine, smiling, and feeling like you’re finally going to make it through and the sun will come out again. The next minute, you’re bawling when the bottom falls out of your grocery bag and the waves of grief come rolling back.
No one wants to feel grief. No one wants to cry and be sad, but grieving is necessary to heal. Without allowing grief to do its restorative work, there is no healing for our broken hearts. Why? Because grief is like an open door. You let it out and God comes in to provide us with the healing we need. The person who does not know how to grieve—or does not give themselves permission to grieve—cannot know the tender comfort and healing God wants to provide in our most desperate times.
When the waves of grief come rolling in, we have two choices: We can harden our hearts, develop a “stiff upper lip” and “suck it up” because that’s what we think strong Christian people do (and because it feels less frightening to be self-protective.)
Or, we can allow ourselves to fully feel the hurt and loss of what or whom we have left behind. If we refuse to grieve, the grief doesn’t go away. It just goes underground in our hearts and comes out some other way. . .maybe in anger, frustration, or depression. The person who knows how to grieve is the person who knows how to give their hurt to God to find His tender comfort waiting for them on the other side of their tears.
In Psalm 56:8, the Psalmist wrote,
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
What a beautiful reminder that tears are precious to the Lord. He doesn’t despise weakness born out of honest heartbreak. He treasures your tears. In fact, He made your tears, and everything He made is good. They are a way for you to release the pain locked in your heart.
So, the next time grief hits, when you lose your beloved pet, job, spouse, father, mother, and when you drop your groceries, instead of shoving your hurt down and deciding to “buck up and deal with it,” let your tears out. And when you do, call out to Jesus and ask Him to come and minister His healing tenderness to you.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
Lord, thank you that you understand my tears. You know what it’s like to be broken hearted. Thank you that you are with me when I cry. I love you. Amen.
The next time you want to cry due to loss or pain, let it out. And when you are crying, talk to Jesus. Then, write down or share with someone else how He ministered to you when you were hurting.
A grieving person gives his sorrow to God and finds His tender comfort waiting on the other side of his tears. #WisdomHunters #comfort
4 minutes- Kim Walker-Smith:
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