Posted by: Jo | November 15, 2013

Precious Tears

“..he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces….” (Isaiah 25:8)

image When I was a little girl, I can remember overhearing an adult conversation in which someone was being described as shedding “crocodile tears”. I was intrigued to know that crocodiles ever do shed tears at all and how could a grown up lady have tears like a crocodile! The adults were too engrossed in their conversation for me to interrupt, so it remained a mystery for me for quite a while. Just recently I was an observer of a different type of tears. Our youngest grand child is a 15 month old little boy who is beginning to make his presence and his personality well-known to all around. After hearing “No” about a dangerous activity he burst into wild tears. His mother urged us all to ignore him as they were only fake tears (hence my remembering about the crocodile tears) Tears come in all sorts of different circumstances for all different reasons. They are a natural phenomenon of all humans. Sorrow of course is the best known reason for tears, but we can also cry for joy. Laughter can produce copious tears. Severe pain can result in tears. Frustration can produce scalding tears. Some of us can see a sad movie, often called a tear jerker, and shed tears about people we don’t even know.

But our Heavenly Father views our tears in a very special way. Our tears have a unique place in his heart, especially when the tears flow from deep grieving. He is very close to those who mourn and who are broken hearted, and the tears are so precious he keeps a record of them in a heavenly scroll. Imagine a beautiful scroll full of all his loved ones tears.

“Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll- are they not in your record?” (Psalm 56:8)

Another version translates as “putting my tears in a flask”, an equally lovely picture.image

No tears that we shed go unnoticed by our Lord. Jesus himself was well aware of sorrow and his public display of weeping at Lazarus’ death shows us all of his deeply human side.

“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

Paul was not ashamed to admit that he was capable of much emotion as he too shed tears.

“For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you, but to let you know the depth of my love for you.” (2 Corinthians 2:4)

When I was a child too much showing of emotion, especially for males, was frowned upon, we were very much influenced by the British “stiff upper lip” attitude where one was expected to hide any deep feelings. Jesus’ beautiful shedding of tears is a sign for all of us that yes it is okay to allow those tears to flow. Allowing others to cry is also very important and weeping with another combines our love with each other and our Saviour.

imageOnce we have pledged to follow the Lord we never weep alone again. He even sees and knows the unshed tears we keep locked inside of ourselves and when we creep into his presence for his comfort he  promises to change sorrow into laughter.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21)

The wonderful news for those who love the Lord is that when we join him in heaven, sorrow will be banished forever.

“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.” (Revelation 21:4)

This beautiful hymn sums up the deep, deep love of our Saviour

For Those Tears I Died

And Jesus said, “Come to the water stand by my side,

I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied

I felt every tear drop when in darkness you cried,

And I strove to remind you for those tears I died.


  1. Your writing is such a comfort Jo, I cry watching a sad movie or even reading a novel about a sad character. Often listening to some one with a problem or illness brings on the tears! I sometimes wonder if there’s something wring with me!
    I must have filled quite a few gallon containers in my life. I also liked Bills reference to to Romans .


  2. And sometimes we have happy tears of remembrance. Thanks again Jo.


  3. Thanks Mum. I’m happy that God is catching my tears today.


  4. Thanks Jo – very lovely thoughts. Reminded me also of Romans 12:15 that you alluded to: “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.


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