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Monday, April 15, 2024 (Mary Ann)

Posted on by Josh Heppner 0 comments
From weeping to rejoicing

Had a good cry lately?

Hurts, frustration, grief, illness, pain, and all the way down the list to burnt cookies, piles of laundry, crying kids and bad hair days can trigger floods. Are you with me here? Face it, Sisters, we can be emotional messes. But when it comes to crying, we are certainly not alone.

Consider that when Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept. (John 11:35) Consider all the pain and sorrow Jesus felt on the cross when he died for our sins. And consider the grief God feels when we continue to sin.

Now turn to the Old Testament and the psalm David wrote while being hounded by the Philistines: “You [God] 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

Wait! God keeps our tears in a bottle?

I did a dive to learn about the concept of keeping tears in a bottle and found it comes from the ancient practice of lachrymatories (your vocabulary word for the week). And David’s allusion here is to the custom of collecting tears shed in a time of calamity or sorrow and preserving them in a small bottle or lachrymatory as a memorial of the grief.

Then in a devotional I was reading, speaker and author Sheila Walsh notes that tear bottles were common in Rome and Egypt around the time of Christ. Mourners would collect their tears to show how much they loved the person who died.

She continues: “Human mourners walked and caught their own tears. But our wild God takes it a step further: he catches our tears and walks beside us in our sorrows. This changes everything. Because if we are carrying our own bottle of tears, then we are spilling our sadness only into emptiness. But if God is beside us, if those tears are going into his bottle, then we are releasing them into the hands of the One who can not only hold them but also transform them. ‘Weeping may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning.’ (Psalm 30:5) He can take what seems hopeless and turn it into victory. He can make beauty out of brokenness. He can redeem and restore anything.”

That is just plain incredible! Oh but there’s more! Look what’s ahead for us as believers: Revelation 21:4 says “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be NO MORE DEATH or MOURNING or CRYING or PAIN, for the old order of things has passed away.”

But for here and now on this side of eternity, please know for a fact, dear Sister, that God feels your pain. You are loved. You are not alone. Our loving, faithful, compassionate Heavenly Father is right beside you collecting all your tears. And he is ready and able to turn those tears into something wonderful!

Time to rejoice, wouldn’t you say?

And remember, as always, if you need to talk with someone, or pray with someone, or even if you need a hug, please reach out to your RCC tribe. We really are better together!

Mary Ann


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