Afraid to Cry

Crying is as natural and common as sneezing, yet we tend to avoid it, at least publicly, at all costs.

Ever wonder why we instinctively try to hold back our tears? Why do we feel the need to apologize when tears overtake our ability to speak? Are we afraid of what tears might reveal about us?

Living on the verge of tears does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with us. Being quickly moved to tears is more often a sign of a tender heart, porous as a sponge, vulnerable to both the soaking in of love and life and the wringing out of pain and sorrow.

Tears are often the release of an abundance of joy or the result of the dam around our hearts breaking from the damaging assault of circumstances beyond our control.

God’s will produces both, joy and pain, laughter and tears, but in the end, His will always leads to life.

After His resurrection, Jesus met his dear friend and follower, Mary Magdalene, outside the empty tomb and loving asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” His questions came from a place of deep respect and compassion in the moment, yet they also store an eternal potential for piercing conviction throughout the ages.

Crying and weeping are grace-given gifts of release as well as avenues for seeking our deeper longings—ones that can only be satisfied in Christ. However, in a moment of great joy or deep despair, would we dare ask ourselves the same questions as Jesus?

Why are we weeping?

Whom are we seeking?

Are we afraid to cry because our tears will either expose a self-saturated heart, or a heart so shattered for Christ it terrifies us to consider the severe mercy of His pending will? Either answer may be difficult to face, except when they bring the questioner into the presence of the Promisekeeper.

Tears are the overflow of either our own broken cisterns or the well-spring of living water poured out by the Holy Spirit.

Do your tears scare you, or do they remind you of God’s eternal promise?

“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.” (Revelation‬ ‭21:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

May your tears help you so deeply identify with Christ in His suffering that you shed them freely as a living sacrifice on the altar of faith.

Be encouraged that when you shed tears of joy, you are like Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the wedding in Cana, as she was wholeheartedly convinced and amazed that Jesus can do anything! Yet, when circumstances and feelings are wringing out your heart, dripping drops of pain and sorrow, you are like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, shedding blood tears on the altar of God’s will.

Dear friends, don’t be afraid to cry.

I encourage you, as Jesus did with Mary Magdalene, to identify the joy, pain, and purpose behind your tears. Then seek the presence of the One who will one day wipe your tears away.

Remember that Jesus wept at the thought of  Lazarus remaining dead in his sins. Then He spoke life into existence, just as God had spoken at creation, so that millions would seek Him and find Him when they seek Him with all their hearts (Jeremiah 29:13).

Don’t be afraid to sometimes even weep. Perhaps your own trail of tears is for others to find their way to Jesus.

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