“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven . . . A time to be born, and a time to die . . . A time to weep . . . and a time to mourn . . . .” Ecclesiastes 3: 3ff (KJV)
2014, for me, has indeed been a “season to mourn” and a “time to weep.” In fact, on this day of my birth (December 31), I am in tears as I try to listen to a phone message left by my son, last year. Since his passing On March 2, I discovered something about myself — I cannot control anything — especially my tears. For months, I have either been crying or on the verge of tears. The mere mention of his name, a picture, a memory– recent or past, causes my eyes to water. At first I was embarrassed by these uncontrollable watery outbursts of emotion until I realized that they are simply the sweet relief of a grief-stricken mother over the loss of a precious part of her being. And I understand that whomever I was before his passing, I am now forever changed. I wholly trust God and believe everything happens for a reason and I know God does not make mistakes. These tears are just an external reflection of my internal heart’s cry.
What an awesome God to give us such a means of cleansing our spirits and laying our utmost brokenness before His Throne. Like the moaning and groaning of prayers, tears speak to God in ways that words cannot express. Biblical commentators suggest, “tears are so precious to God that He gathers them drop by drop and stores them in a bottle. He takes note of our afflictions and troubles that cause our tears and places them in the book of his remembrance; they are taken notice of and numbered by him, and shall be finished; they shall not exceed their bounds. They are in his book of purposes; they are all appointed by him, their kind and nature, their measure and duration, their quality and quantity; what they shall be, and how long they shall last; and their end and use: and are all overruled and caused to work for their good.”
Beloveds, God never promised us life without loss, pain, suffering, or even tears, but God vowed so much more:
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 11:25
“I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” 2 Kings 20:5
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4
On this the day of my birth; at the brink of a new year; and yet another day in tears – I am comforted by the fact that “God knows the way that I take,” and knew what was necessary for my will to break. I treasured the gift of my son for 40 years and today I am blessed with a daughter and son-in-law to continue the faith journey. We will all meet again never to depart and what a day of rejoicing that will be.
Beloveds, 2014 for me has been a year of challenge, change and serious choices. I vow this day, never to take anything or anyone for granted. I will trust God even more with my whole heart, mind and might. Even in my tears, God is strengthening me through His Word and is keeping me in every circumstance. Daily, I am reminded to pray without ceasing and to encourage myself.
Yes, this has been for me a “season of weeping” and a “time for tears.” But please understand– every sleepless night and tear-stained day drew me closer to God. I may not understand it all right now, but I have no doubt, I will understand it ALL better by-and-by. But “Until Then,”
My heart can sing when I pause to remember
a heartache here is but a stepping stone
along a trail that’s winding always upwards
this troubled world is not my final home.
The things of earth will dim and lose their value
as we recall they’re borrowed for a while.
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble
remembers there, will only bring a smile.
But until then, my heart will go on singing.
Until then with joy I’ll carry on
until the day my eyes behold that city
until the day God calls me Home.
Prayer: Father, thank You. Thank You. Thank You—for everything in 2014 that moved me – to pray – to believe and yes, even to tears. In Whose Name Who Numbers Every Tear Drop and Records each one with Loving care ~ Your Son—Our Savior. Amen