Your Tears Are Never Wasted
The way we talk about the Bible almost feels more like a list of self-help platitudes. We pick and choose cliché verses that neatly frame messy situations with a positive spin.
To narrow the Bible to vending machine quotes dismisses the real hope it offers. The writers of the books of the Bible walk through severe depression, pain, grief, and trial. They struggle with God. They doubt and question God’s intentions.
Scripture tells us who God is, but it often relates us to the depth of the human experience. On this side of eternity, we will cry tears of pain. We will walk through a messy, chaotic world full of sin and brokenness.
This morning, I read this passage from Psalms 126:4–6
Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
What I love about the Psalms is their ability to hold the tension of sorrow and hope. Psalm 126:4–6 acknowledges the tears with confidence in God. Easier said than done.
“To sow tears…reaping with songs of joy…” means your tears are never wasted. You don’t have to dismiss your grief, depression, and anxiety. To discover authentic hope, we have to walk through dark valleys.
The gospel — the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection — meets us in the river of our tears. It’s not a message to pull yourself up from your bootstraps. On the contrary, Jesus sits with us in our pain, knowing that He became a “man of sorrows.”
Today, I offer no self-help platitudes or one verse solutions. Your pain and despair are genuine. The darkness of night may seem permanent. You have a Savior who walked through the Valley of the Shadow of death in suffering on the cross. He sits with us in our sorrow.
Your tears are never wasted. You can acknowledge the grim reality while holding on to the light of hope. You are not alone.
Originally published at https://peterenglert.com on June 30, 2020.