Lately I’ve been crying at times. And it is a good thing.
One of the bondages I battle is turning to food for comfort. Since my brother died in February 2012 of suicide, I have turned back to using food to ease sorrow. The problem with this is that it can cause me to stuff my emotions down. They tend to get buried under all the ice cream, cookies, or cake that I’m eating.
Not long ago I suffered another trauma, but this time I determined not to eat for comfort as I grieved this disappointment, this heartache. The result was that I’m feeling my emotions.
I’m crying when I hurt. I’m weeping over the sin and hardened heart of my loved one. I’m shedding tears over the sin in this broken world and all the broken people I know.
In a recent article I read, I was reminded of the benefit of tears:
“Tears are your body’s release valve for stress, sadness, grief, anxiety and frustration. They…reduce stress hormones and contain antibodies that fight pathogenic microbes…crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and ‘feel-good’ hormones. Crying makes us feel better, even when a problem persists. In addition to physical detoxification, emotional tears heal the heart. (from “The Health Benefits of Tears” by Judith Orloff MD)
God designed our bodies this way—to leak water out of our eyes to help us deal with the emotional side of our lives. To me this is an amazing thing.
Tears can draw me closer to Him and remind me how much I need Him. I do feel a closeness to God when I cry in His presence when I pray. At those times I like to imagine Jesus holding me and weeping with me.
I think of the verse in Scripture that says:
You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8 NKJV
There are promises in the Word involving tears that encourage me:
They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing. Psalm 126:5 AMP
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 AMP
It comforts me to know that Jesus shed tears. John 11:35 has those two words:
These were tears of empathy. When people I know and love are hurting I forge a deep connection when I cry with them. I remember hearing a story about a little girl who appreciated her friend because as she put it, “She helped me cry.”
Another time that Jesus cried was when He wept over the city of Jerusalem.
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, Luke 19:41
Jesus shed tears over what the people had missed and what they must go through for not submitting to Him. I’ve wept over the same thing.
Another poignant time of tears in the Bible is when Peter weeps tears of repentance. I’ve done that lately too.
…for the second time a cock crowed. And Peter remembered how Jesus said to him, Before a cock crows twice, you will utterly deny Me…three times. And having put his thought upon it [and remembering], he broke down and wept aloud and lamented. (Mark 14:72 AMP)
I thought of negative type of tears that can cause us to go deeper into despair. They are when we cry out of self-pity, bitterness, or anger. Also we can cry to manipulate others with our tears—to try to get our own way. My goal is to cry healthy tears that cleanse and bring healing as well as a deeper connection to the Lord.
My favorite verse about tears is Revelation 21:4 (ESV)
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
In heaven I will have no more reason to cry. I will be with Jesus, the One who loves me most. At long last I will be safe in His arms. What a glorious time and place that will be.