In the late 1990s, I wrote a book about how God kept his promise to be close to the broken hearted and save those who are crushed in spirit. I had buried my baby boy and cried countless tears. No pain has touched my life as deeply as the pain I felt when my son died.
Even when we’re going through the deepest pain of our lives, we can be comforted in God’s presence and walk in his life-giving light.
I serve on the Prayer Team at my church. At the end of each week’s sermon, the worship team makes its way back onto the platform. Our worship services are formatted to include a music set after the sermon as well as at the beginning. It’s one of the things I love about our church. It gives the congregation an opportunity to respond to God’s Word, and it also creates an atmosphere for prayer. As soon as the keyboardist begins to underscore the preacher’s closing remarks, I make my way to a spot on the side of the sanctuary where I wait for anyone to approach me with a request for prayer. This past Sunday, something unusual happened. I was singing along with the congregation from my spot off to the side, when I felt like God said to me, “She needs a hug.”
I looked toward the back of the room and saw a young woman weeping and dabbing her tears with a tissue. I approached her and said, “I couldn’t help but notice your tears. May I pray for you?” She nodded and I asked her name. Then I began to pray whatever came into my mind. As I was praying, I mentioned that I had come to literally be the arms of Jesus because I believe God wanted to give her a hug. The woman’s tears came even harder as I gave her a squeeze on behalf of Jesus, and I was reminded of the promise in Psalm 56:8.
God doesn’t merely collect our tears; he knows why we cried them and he makes a record of the reason. God keeps track of the things that hurt us, which is why we can trust the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our advocate. We can trust Father God to work all things together for our good. We don’t have to keep a record of the wrongs done to us or the things that caused us pain. God keeps track of all our sorrows. He has collected all our tears in His bottle. He has recorded each one in his book. What a profoundly comforting thought! God not only sees you when you’re crying, but he is right there with you, collecting every tear that falls. And one day, he will wipe them all away. Revelation 7:17 says, “For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes” (NLT).
Don’t forget to download the graphic that goes with today’s episode. You’ll find it—along with the graphics for all my episodes—on my podcast page at this link: Shawna’s Blog – Bible Teacher | Author | Shawna Marie Bryant
This week’s scripture: Psalm 56:8-13