My best friend cries at the drop of a hankie. I hardly cry at all – unless I am very overwhelmed. It’s kind of a running joke between us that somehow she got my allotment of tears. I just don’t like to give in to my emotions. Still, there are times when I’m sure I just need a good cry. I guess I’ll just let her handle those times for me.
Tears are not a bad thing. Jesus wept. And we know that whatever Jesus did is right. In fact, emotions are not a bad thing. God is depicted many times in Scripture expressing emotions.
Anger – Psalm 7:11; Deuteronomy 9:22; Romans 1:18
Compassion – Psalm 135:14; Judges 2:18; Deuteronomy 32:36
Grief – Genesis 6:6; Psalm 78:40
Love – 1 John 4:8; John 3:16; Jeremiah 31:3
Hate – Proverbs 6:16; Psalm 5:5; Psalm 11:5
Jealousy – Exodus 20:5; Exodus 34:14; Joshua 24:19
Joy – Zephaniah 3:17; Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 32:41
So really, my refusal to show emotions is rejecting this God-like quality that reflects His own image. Wow!
Tears have their place and can turn into a blessing for others. Psalm 84:6 talks about God’s people on the pilgrimage of our earthly life. The psalmist noted, “As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs.” The Valley of Baca refers to a place of weeping and deep sorrow. This life is filled with sorrow on top of sorrow. But sorrow has a purpose as this verse shows.
When the tears flow and seem to never stop they collect into springs which become pools of refreshment for those who enter the Valley of Baca after us. How comforting it is to know that our tears are soothing for another weary, weeping pilgrim.
That is a lovely, poetic expression, but how does it translate in real life? Paul said that “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Sorrow becomes a bridge to another hurting soul, and the pool of our tears becomes a cup of cold water we can share. “I have experienced that same heartache, let me walk through it with you and give you the same comfort that God gave to me.”
So, my beloved, weepy friend, let your tears flow, and I’ll work on mine. Someone needs the refreshment of your tears. It might even be me.