Tears in a bottle


Tonight the tears have been streaming down my face a little.  Nothing with great hysteria; just a steady run of water plunging down the slope of my facial contours that have sharpened with age.   I’m going through a mini- phase of self pity wondering why my family and I ended up moving several states away from the place we called home for 20 years or so.  Mostly I manage because my new job has kept me busy.  However, tonight the heart strings were pulled.  There isn’t a specific reason.  Maybe it’s just time to release a little of the toxins I’ve built up in my body with stress and pressure of my life changes.

I’m also preparing for an extensive trip for work which will take me out of the country for a few weeks. I suppose I’m inventorying everything I have to do and prepare for and with this kind of trip I always pray a little harder that guardian angels will be watching over my family and me.  I will be so far away that II won’t be in a position to take immediate action of any sort if any emergency arises. 

I’ve always been one to shed tears in an emotional response to just about anything.  It can be happy or sad.  It can be fear or pain.  I admit it.  I am a cryer.  If you don’t cry, you can’t appreciate how good it feels once you’ve stopped crying.  The chemicals in your body just go crazy for a little bit and when you finally relax there is this wonderful moment of peace that something awful has passed and there is now light shining in the darkness.

By coincidence, this morning the Psalm I read was 56: 8-13.  Maybe I talked myself into having some emotional stress due to the message I read earlier today.  It says God keeps track of all our sorrows.  He collects our tears in His bottle. He has recorded each one in His book.  God is on our side.  He has rescued us.  He keeps our feet from slipping.  I can walk in His life-giving light.

I don’t think a bottle is quite enough for the tears I’ve shed in my lifetime.  When I was little my dad could simply say my name and the tears would come running.  I couldn’t control it though parents always think you can.  I would have so much anxiety built up in me that by the time the last syllable of my name was released the tear bottle was half full!  It was a release– a way to let the pressure ooze out of my body.  

Crying makes many uncomfortable but to me it is a testament to honesty.  People can hide all sorts of emotions, but once they cry it’s real and pure.

There are several things that make Psalm 56 cool to me.  The Psalm is based on a time when David was in hiding and running away to keep from being killed.  It shows me a side of humankind that we all share- fear, anxiety, being on the edge, vulnerable and uncomfortable, seeking but not finding respite from life’s realities.  Yet long term David made it through this situation and there was much good in store for him.  

The idea that God recognizes our feelings and accounts for them is like having a cozy blanket wrapped around your body on a cold night.  Throughout the Bible we are told of situations where God keeps track of us- He knew us before we were formed and he won’t leave us nor forsake us.  Even the worst of the worst has the opportunity to be with Him in paradise.  

Jesus cried.  David cried.  I cried.  Het gets it.  He feels it.  He knows it.  He can relate to us.  Psalm 56 speaks in a tone that suggests God is still keeping track of us.  He is watching out for us.  

I’ll never understand why God lets bad things happen.  I have to just remind myself that I am not in this world for my own purposes.  To admit that, you will be in the minority, but it seems to me to be a very healthy approach to understanding that God’s purposes supercede whatever we have on the calendar.  

I’ve kind of wandered a bit today, but the tears have dried up..  I guess all in all the reality of God loving me, yes even tearful me, has been reinforced.  He’s keeping track of us so what we do in our lives each day makes a difference. Most importantly He is preparing for us to be with Him.  He is recording parts of our lives in His book. He is helping me to recognize and admit it’s not about me.  

Some of us need big bottles and some of us need smaller sizes.  The good news is that God’s bottle supply is never ending.  


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