September 13, 2016

That’s Some Serious Crying

Written by Shana Schutte


Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 13, 2016

By Shana Schutte

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?  Psalm 56:8

While I was growing up, my mom cried during touching television moments. She cried during old movies when two lovers were reconciled. She cried while watching The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie, and she even cried during Folgers coffee commercials. Yep, stories surrounding that stuff that is good to the last drop made her weep. So I grew up in a home where tears were acceptable and normal.

Now that I am older, I value tears for a couple of reasons. First, I generally believe when we are willing to be authentically real and honest with others, they will often do the same with us. Of course, there are exceptions, but on the whole, transparency promotes transparency, so intimacy is built. When we cry with others, they may feel free to do the same. Second, tears help us experience God more intimately. When all our posturing and posing before the Almighty is stripped away through tears, we are humbled before Him in dependency. Tears cleanse the eyes of the heart so we can see Him more clearly and experience His grace more fully.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).

But not everyone is happy to shed tears either publicly or privately. For many reasons (including our histories and insecurities), shedding tears can make us feel vulnerable and out of control. That’s understandable. But if you have a hard time allowing yourself to cry, you might find what the Bible says about tears enlightening and even liberating.

For example, in Luke 19:41, Jesus—the Creator, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End—wept over Jerusalem and was grieved that the Jews did not recognize Him as Savior. The Greek word translated “wept” means more than just shedding a few silent tears—it means “to wail aloud.” That’s some serious crying!

Jesus wailed. David soaked his bed with tears. Joseph cried. Jacob kissed Rachel and cried aloud. Ezra threw himself on the ground and wept. In Zephaniah, shepherds wailed. In Isaiah, even brave men cried in the streets. If it’s okay for Christ our Lord and other brave men to cry, isn’t it okay for us to do the same in vulnerable moments?

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).



Lord, I am so grateful that I can come to you honestly with my tears. You are not a God who despises weakness. You invite me to bring all that I am and all that I struggle with to you. Thank you that you aren’t unable to identify with my sadness and grief. I love you. Amen.


Are you comfortable or uncomfortable with tears? Take your feelings about crying to the Lord and ask Him to reveal if there are any life factors that He would like to change your perspective about that have contributed to your comfort level with crying.

Related Reading

Psalms 30:5; Psalms 39:12; Psalms 139:3

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  1. Logan says:

    As someone who is a frequent and unashamed crier, I love this devotional. In John 11 in the story of Lazarus, we also see that Jesus wept. I remember my youth pastor teaching on this (I’m only 19 so it wasn’t that long ago) and saying that John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible is also one of the most powerful and instructive. Jesus, God in the flesh who KNEW, He didn’t just think, hope, or believe everything was going to be okay, He KNEW He was going to be the one to raise Lazarus from the dead, yet He wept anyway. How dare we question someone’s strength or the depth of their faith when they cry during a hard time. Why did Jesus weep over Lazarus? My youth pastor said he believes it was to teach us how we are supposed to respond to hard times. Jesus never did anything wrong, weak, or unmanly. So if it was okay for Jesus to cry his eyes out, it’s okay for us to as well.

    To backup what you said about weeping, I saw a quote recently that said “Crying involves only the face. The eyes, the cheeks. Weeping involves the entire body.” Weeping is the kind of crying that gives you a good ab workout.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share that. I am a stressed out, overwhelemed college student who needs to get back to studying and who plans to do some “serious crying” later on. The crying myself to sleep kind. Unlike David, I probably won’t soak my whole bed with my tears, but I will have to throw my pillow in the dryer most likely.

    Enjoyed your devo!!


  2. Gwynne says:

    Dear Logan,
    Thank you so much for getting in touch with us. I enjoyed reading your comments and please know, I shared them with Shana, the author of the devotional. You, my sweet, tired, stressed out college student made some wonderful points; beautifully said! And may I add, you were blessed with a wise youth pastor who taught a valuable lesson about weeping, using our Savior as a role model.
    I wrote down what you said about the quote you had recently seen dealing with crying vs. weeping. “Weeping involves the entire body. Weeping is the kind of crying that gives you a good ab workout.”
    LOVE THAT! And so true…..
    Now about the overwhelmed, stress out college student part… We are going to be praying for you in the days ahead, for not only an extra measure of strength, but also some sweet rest. My thinking is that you are “shining His Light to others” and you need that sweet rest and strength that comes only from Him, to fully do that.
    We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter and look forward to hearing from you again.
    Believing and trusting (and a fellow crier and weeper)
    “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

    “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4: 16

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