THE SACREDNESS OF TEARS
Compiled by Michael Jeshurun
The Bible teaches that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Like it or not, we are all born sinners, which means we are all born unbroken. Yes, our DNA is infected with the sin of our forefather Adam. The word that best describes this condition of unbrokenness is pride. The word that best describes brokenness is humility.
We are all—every last one of us—more or less unbroken. The Christian journey is one of God bringing us out of tree of knowledge trash such as sinful, rule-based, self-righteous, self-sufficient, prideful dependence upon our own strength, wisdom and knowledge into the tree of life treasures of brokenness, humility, worship of and dependence upon Him. These are God’s highest desires for all of His children, and His desires are always what is best for us. They are highly prized by Him, and once we begin to understand and bear the fruit of them, we will prize them highly too.
Biblically, tears are an essential expression of brokenness. They are God’s provision for cleansing us of the unbrokenness that hinders and sometimes destroys our spiritual, mental and physical health and well being.
“Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure” (Psalm 80:5).
Ken Gire wrote in Windows of the Soul, “In each tear is distilled something of eternity, something of love and compassion and tenderness, all things that originate in heaven and come to earth as a sacrament to the soul, if only I am willing to take and to eat. The closest communion with God comes, I believe, through the sacrament of tears. Just as grapes are crushed to make wine and grain to make bread, so the elements of this sacrament come from the crushing experiences of life.
Many Hebrew words for grieving, weeping and lamentation actually mean “to distill”, which means to “separate and change from one substance to another”. This word beautifully describes God’s renewing work in the midst of our tears. In the life long metamorphosis of our souls, God is continually transforming us from the sin-marred image of Adam into the glorious image of Christ. The tears we pour out at the feet of Jesus, both joyful and sad, are the distillation of God’s eternal work in our lives.
Tears are the language of the soul. When they are turned toward God, they are never wasted nor shed in vain. Though often shunned by man they are treasured by God. Psalm 56:8 says that God keeps our tears in a bottle and writes each one in His book.
God considers our precious tears an offering. Exodus 22:29 urges that we not “delay to offer the first of [our] ripe fruits, and of [our] liquors . . . “.
The primary meaning of the Hebrew word for “liquors” is “tears”. And we should not delay the offering of them! They are put into His bottle and are written in His book. I can almost see the fingers of God lovingly caressing each line in that weighty tome as He ponders our every offering and sacrifice of brokenness—love letters straight from our heart to His. Just let your heart ponder this for a moment. Our tears are treasures in heaven, for they represent our every moment of surrender to Him.
The great old theologian, Matthew Henry wrote of this verse, “God has a bottle and a book for his people’s tears, both those for their sins and those for their afflictions. He observes them with compassion and tender concern; he is afflicted in their afflictions, and knows their souls in adversity. Paul was mindful of Timothy’s tears (2 Timothy 1:4), and God will not forget the sorrows of his people. God will comfort his people according to the time wherein he has afflicted them, and give to those to reap in joy who sowed in tears. What was sown a tear will come up a pearl.”
[Gleaned from sources on the web]