Posted by Jim_Daly Dec 7, 2012
T. Dewitt Talmage was a well-known Brooklyn, N.Y., preacher in the late 1800s. He died in 1902. He once preached a message titled “The Ministry of Tears.” It speaks powerfully to the reality of grief, but is also laced with an enormous spirit of hope.
He is basically trying to answer this great question: “What’s the use of our tears?”
Here are a few choice lines:
Why, when a family is put together, not have them all stay, or if they must be transplanted to make other homes, then have them all live? The family record telling a story of marriages and births, but of no deaths. Why not have the harvests chase each other without fatiguing toil, and all our homes afflicted?
Why the hard pillow, the hard crust, the hard struggle? It is easy enough to explain a smile, or a success, or a congratulation; but, come now, and bring all your dictionaries and all your philosophies and all your religions, and help me this evening to explain a tear.
A chemist will tell you that it is made up of salt and lime, and other component parts; but he misses the chief ingredients -- the acid of a soured life, the viper sting of a bitter memory, the fragments of a broken heart.
I will tell you what a tear is; it is agony in solution. It is the Ministry of trouble to make us feel our complete dependence upon God.
We do not know our own weakness or God's strength until the last plank breaks.
I have found out that I cannot comfort people except as I myself have been troubled.
Jesus had enough trial to make Him sympathetic with all trial.
If we could get any appreciation of what God has in reserve for us, it would make us so home sick we would be unfit for our everyday work.
Have you any appreciation this evening of the good and glorious times your friends are having in Heaven?
How different it is when they get news there of a Christian's death from what it is here. It is the difference between embarkation and coming into port. Everything depends upon which side of the river you stand when you hear of a Christian's death. If you stand on this side of the river you mourn that they go. If you stand on the other side of the river, you rejoice that they come.
Follow me on Twitter @Dalyfocus
Follow me on Facebook
Keep up with Focus on the Family on Facebook
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
About Jim Daly
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S. He is husband to Jean and father to Trent and Troy.
Recently by Jim Daly
- Teach Them Why They Died So That We Might Live 2013Friday, May 24, 2013
- Gabrielle Reece's Controversial ConvictionThursday, May 23, 2013
- Three Ways to Be a Radical ChristianWednesday, May 22, 2013
- Oklahoma SorrowTuesday, May 21, 2013
- 35 Steps to a Better Life 2013Monday, May 20, 2013
Recently on Crosswalk Blogs
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content