It’s tempting to wipe our tears away quickly – if we even dare to let them fall in the first place. An array of reasons and misconceptions pressure us to believe that dry eyes are a virtue and that joy, hope, faith, and courage need to be tearless. So we suppress or avoid sorrow for the illusion of strength.
We forget that David, the Lord’s faithful warrior king, was also a crying poet who penned many laments for God’s people to sing. And his son, who was given “wisdom and understanding beyond measure”, declared that “the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning.” Their genealogy of grief continues on to Jesus, “a man of sorrows” who wept at his friend’s funeral and cried out in agony during his own distress.
Tears are not only permitted by God, they’re commended. For it was Jesus who had the audacity and authority to employ the word blessed to describe those who weep and mourn.
Slow down and picture the day we ache for in Revelation 21, when heaven finally happens upon us. Notice what the saints are in the midst of doing as the Lord comes back to renew all things: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man…he will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” As the Lord returns, we find out that the redeemed have been crying.
It would seem, then, that we are expected to wait for glory with tears in our eyes.
So we would do well to make space in our homes and churches for heartache to linger. Because God has spent a lot of ink and tears to show that sorrow and joy do not merely coexist, they harmonize together in his song of redemption.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy.”