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The Wonder of Tears

Storms ravaging communities. Foods appealing to our appetites. A young person missing for days. Jewels promising happiness. War decimating nations. Educational opportunities suggesting success. Vehicle crashes mangling bodies.

The evening news is sprinkled with tears and smiles. Advertisements direct our thoughts to happy times. But current events often touch us with suffering, pain, and tears.

In Revelation 21:4, God promises there will be a day He will wipe away every tear from the eyes of the redeemed.

Drawing Near

Have you ever wiped tears from a youngster’s face and eyes? Before banishing the tears, you first had to get close to the one crying. Perhaps you bent or knelt to the child’s level, getting your face close to the child’s. Or maybe you picked the little one up in your arms before drying his or her face. Whatever the case, you first had to draw near.

It would be possible for God to dry our tears without drawing close to us. But based on what I know of His character, I imagine He would want to draw near. In fact, Psalm 34:18, says God is near to the brokenhearted. So, while I don’t like the idea of hard things that bring tears, I find comfort in the thought of God drawing near to me.

Intimate Relationship

Last week I was explaining the concept of sight words to my five-year-old granddaughter after she kept trying to sound out the word “the”.

“If I walk up to your front door, ring the bell, and you open the door,” I began, “would you ask me who I am?”

“No!” she giggled. “You’re Grandma!”

“But how do you know that I’m Grandma?” I asked.

“I just do,” came her five-year-old logic reply.

“You know I am Grandma just by seeing what I look like and by remembering that is how Grandma looks,” I explained.

“In the same way, you can know that when you see the letters ‘t-h-e’ in a word, it is the word “the.” You don’t need to try to sound each letter out.”

What I did not explain to my granddaughter was that we recognize people based primarily on their facial features. We don’t look at their elbows, toes, or knees, but scan their face which has thousands of possible different nuances based on shape, size, coloring, texture, etc.

Have you ever seen anyone who looks exactly like you? Even identical twins don’t look exactly the same. Your face, like your fingerprints, identifies you and is uniquely personal.

Just as our faces are a symbol of our identity, our faces are also an intimate, though public, part of our body.

It’s not uncommon for me to hug a friend, give her a reassuring touch on the hand or arm, or even rub her back as a gesture of comfort. But we generally don’t touch a friend’s face. Although faces are highly visible, they are also generally off-limits to touch by others.

When we cry, our tears pool in our eyes and run down our cheeks. Our tears—products of hurt in our heart—affect our face. And this is the very part of us—our face—God touches when He wipes our tears. He touches that part of us that uniquely identifies us. He enters into the personal space of our face to bless us with His comfort and love.

No More

While in this life we may sense moments when God draws near and even dries our tears, the tears always return. Living in a broken world as we do, hurting hearts and tears are inevitable.

But for the believer, there will come a day when the hurting heart is mended, and tears are dried forever. At that time, God’s actions will declare, “No more!”

No more severe weather that ravages our communities. No more young people turning up missing. No more wars that decimate nations. No more crashes that mangle bodies.

No more hurting hearts. And no more tears.

Just God’s presence, love, and blessing on our glorified faces.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4 ESV

Need Encouragement?

Where do you get your encouragement? Through friendship, family relationships, or positive things in life?

But what happens when life is difficult and the temporal holds no hope? May I suggest that a great place to find encouragement is in God’s Word?

In the darkest seasons of my life, when chronic pain from rheumatoid arthritis seems unending and the grief of losing a son to suicide buries me in sorrow and the prospect of ever-worsening vision depresses me, my only real hope is in the truth I find in God’s Word.

Therefore, I have accumulated a list of encouraging scriptures. Almost every morning, one of the first things I do is open the document on my computer and have my screen reader read the verse for the day. As of today, I have 60 scriptures in my list. This means I can rotate through these verses every two months.

Now you can go to my website to access the same verses.

If we want to stay encouraged in our faith and have an eternal perspective, it is imperative to fill our minds with God’s perspective. Not just taking a quick glance at it once a day, but taking a portion of Scripture, even if it is a small one, to focus on and keep in our mind so it will sink into our heart and life.

And as for tears? They will still moisten your eyes and cheeks at times, but you will grow in your awareness of God’s nearness and of the day to come when He says, “No more!”


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