“You have … put my tears in your bottle.” Psalm 56:8
The journey from the cradle to the grave is often accompanied by tears. A cynical poet once wrote: “This life’s a hollow bubble, Don’t you know? Just a painted piece of trouble, Don’t you know? We come to earth to cry, We grow older and we sigh, Older still, and then we die! Don’t you know?” Throughout Scripture we read of saints who lived a life marked by tears. Job understandably writes, “My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God.” The Psalmist David writes in Psalm 6, “I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.” There are countless examples of godly saints weeping, such as Abraham (Gen. 23:2), Joseph (Gen. 43:30), Hannah (1 Sam. 1:8), Jeremiah (Lam. 1:16), and the apostle Paul (Phil. 3:18). The shortest verse in the Bible (Jn. 11:35) tells us that even Jesus wept.
But Scripture also reminds us that God has put our tears in a bottle. That truth is meant to remind us that our God sees and our God cares. The tears that we shed are not without His particular notice. Whether your tears are the result of a doctor’s diagnosis, or a wayward son, or any number of other pains in this broken world, life is not just a hollow bubble or a painted piece of trouble. Your God does care, and He is determined to use even the tears that you cry for your ultimate good and for His glorious purposes.
The tears that we shed in this life are designed to lift our hearts heavenward, to our great High Priest who identifies with us and sympathizes with us in all our weakness; until that great day, when we will be ushered into His presence, and the great God of Heaven and Earth, who sovereignly rules all things will show us the extent of His tender compassion as He stoops to wipe away every tear from our eyes! An old devotional contains the line, “How can God dry your tears in the next world if you have not wept in this one?” God sees! God knows! God cares! In His perfect economy, not one tear will be wasted! He promises, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”