Your Tears Matter To God - The One Year Book of Hope

Your Tears Matter To God

You 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

I remember going up to the cosmetics counter a few weeks after my daughter, Hope, died and asking if the mascara I was considering would run down my face when I cried. The salesperson assured me it wouldn’t and then asked with a laugh in her voice, “Are you going to be crying?”

“Yes,” I answered. “I am.” And I have. I used to rarely cry, but now tears are always close to the surface, just waiting to be released. It is as if there is a broken place inside me where tears are stored. Letting them out has been the only way to release the pressure of the pain.

Along with relief, there is also the uncomfortable loss of control that is a companion to tears, isn’t there? Some see tears not only as a loss of control but also as a lack of faith. It is as if the physical manifestation of tears gives evidence of a spiritual deficiency—that if our faith was big enough or deep enough or developed enough, we simply wouldn’t be this sad. It is as if we think our grasp of spiritual realities can erase the hurts of being human. But when you’ve lost something or someone who is valuable to you, when you have been forced to let go of a dream or live within a nightmare—that is something to be sad about. So let yourself be sad.

And know that God does not discount or dismiss your tears. They are precious to him because you are precious to him. In fact, when God reveals glimpses of the culmination of human history—in a future that will fully reveal and be fully worthy of his glory—he includes, as a centerpiece, this promise in Isaiah 25:8: “The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears.” Picture in your mind right now the Lord of the universe reaching down to gently and lovingly wipe away your tears. He doesn’t ignore them or tell you that if you really had faith you wouldn’t cry. He wipes them away. And Revelation 21:4 tells us that not only will he wipe away tears, he will remove all of the sorrow that caused them. God’s plan for the future is to destroy forever the evil that has brought you so much pain and then to live forever with you in a place he has lovingly prepared where there will be no more tears.

My Tear Collector, sometimes you seem so far away, it’s hard for me to grasp that you are sad with me. Give me the faith to see you now beside me and to see a future in which your hand will wipe away my tears forever.


Read Psalm 56. Make a list of what David determined to do despite his tears.

From the Book: