“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes”
Revelation 21:4 (KJV)
When many of us as children were taken to the doctor’s office for an injection or some other unwanted procedure, we would become frightened. Perhaps our parents would urge us not to cry and promise us a reward for being brave. When I had my tonsils removed I was promised all the ice cream I could eat. That was a great treat we only enjoyed on special occasions.
In parts of western society crying has been seen as a weakness, especially when a man cries. We allow women to weep and it is acceptable, but from childhood boys are told, “Men do not cry.” The idea was that if we boys wished to prove we were grown up we would not cry. Imagine if an actor like Clint Eastwood had a crying part in one of his movies such as Dirty Harry. It would ruin his image of a tough man in seconds.
Yet most of us, men and women, have had occasions when we wept and did not try to hold back the tears. Well meaning friends may urge us to stop crying, but it does not matter to us in the pain of our new situation.
Many times I have been in the presence of someone who has suffered a sudden and very unwelcome turn of events in life. When the tears start to flow some of these people apologise to me for crying. My usual comment is that the situation is indeed worth crying over. I seek to assure the individual that tears are appropriate in such a situation.
So in numerous contexts weeping is a good thing to do. There are even health benefits that seem to be related to having a good cry. It is also stated by scientists that humans are the only creatures who cry. So God has given us a way to cope with sorrow and we are free to make good use of it when necessary. Even Jesus is recorded to have wept at times in His life among us.
The great news is that those who love the Lord will outlive tears. From passages in the Old Testament through the last book of the New Testament we read of sorrow disappearing and God wiping the tears from the eyes of His people (Isaiah 25:8; 35:10; 65:19).
We are assured that the reason for tears disappearing is that God will live with His people forever. There is a sense now that God is unseen, removed, living elsewhere even though He does watch over us. In Leviticus 26:11-12 we read, “I will put my dwelling place among you…I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” (NIV)
For those who have rejected Jesus there are statements that when they see Him they shall weep and shed many tears (Revelation 1:7). Believers shall have nothing but joy and delight in that great day.
Is this your hope as you face days of weeping? Can you say with the Psalmist, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
May you have grace to endure your present sorrow knowing that the day will come when all your tears shall be gone because Jesus has come for you.