EXPLORATION: Day 4: How God embraces me with His comfort.
“Comforting God, shelter me under your wings when I am engulfed in sadness and overcome with distress.”
“For the Lord will comfort all her waste places. And He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her.”
The Amplified Bible
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.”
The Amplified Bible
When my Grandmother was twelve years old, her father, a marine engineer, left on a sailing trip one morning and never returned. Several months after the disappearance of the ship he was on, an empty life-preserver was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean. For my Grandmother, as well as all the other family members whose loved-ones served aboard this vessel, it was a devastating loss.
As I grew older, there was one thing about my grandma I could never understand. She never cried. No matter how sad the event – even at funerals – Grandma never shed a tear. One day, at the age when you have more boldness than brains, I went into my grandma’s office where she was busy typing and I said with all my youthful bluntness, “Grandma, why don’t you ever cry?”
She looked at me and said, “Well, Dorothy, long ago when I was about your age and my father died, I found out that tears never fix anything.” I’ll never forget those words. I thought long and hard about what my grandma said for many years – even believing, myself, that shedding tears over anything was a waste of time.
One day, after a particularly hurtful end to a very painful relationship, I happened to be visiting Grandma. As we talked about the situation, that to me was so traumatic, I began to cry. Not a little trickle of water. These weren’t small droplets on my cheeks. No, this was something unusual. I was crying huge crocodile tears. An unstoppable flood covered my face, and loud, wailing howls came out of my mouth. To my complete surprise, I looked up and saw tears rolling down the soft, wrinkled face of my dear grandmother.
She got up from where she was sitting and went into her bedroom and got the old, very used Bible that was on a table beside her bed and read me these words: “Thou tellest my wanderings; put thou my tears into thy bottle; are they not in thy book?” (Psalm 56:8, King James Version).
Grandma took my hands and said, “Dearie, God has every one of your tears and mine in the bottle of His remembrance.” This is when I found out where all my grandma’s tears were – held in loving hands in a beautiful place where God never forgets the pain that has crushed our dreams and broken our hearts.
As The Message states, “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book” (Psalm 56:8). God keeps a complete record. A written document. A remembrance of the tears that filled our eyes and rolled down our cheeks.
This comforting thought took on a whole new meaning for me when I read Dr. Larry Dossey’s thought-provoking book, The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things. One chapter deals specifically with the healing power of tears. Dr. Dossey notes that throughout ancient history, it was a sign of love and caring to collect tears in “bottlelike containers called lachrymatories.”
But this isn’t all I learned. Scientists have found that “tears contain more than thirty times the amount of manganese found in the blood. This suggests that tears may function to rid the body of certain toxins. Indeed, in seabirds such as cormorants and albatrosses, tear glands seem to serve this purpose; they are more powerful than the birds’ kidneys in ridding the body of toxic levels of salt.”
As I thought about the potential for cleansing as we release tears, I remembered words written by the Apostle John in Revelation where God assures us that in one of the most compassionate acts of love ever recorded in the Scriptures, He will “wipe every tear from our eyes.” Rev. 7: 17.
God isn’t going to find some stand-in to perform this comforting task. He wants to end our pain Himself. And so with the gentle hands of a loving Father, He will reach over and wipe from our faces those droplets of water that on earth have served to help purify our bodies. No need for tears because a day is coming when nothing will cause tears. No pain. No sadness. No heartache. I’m so thankful my Father has promised to wipe away my tears – forever.
“Tears are the tips of those sorrows
we choose to let go.
And so, as I cry out to You, Lord,
I ask You to help me release
all that has been binding my heart.
As I feel yesterday’s sadness
running down today’s face,
my still moist eyes begin
to look forward to tomorrow.
And with Your grace,
I feel myself remembering
how to smile once again …”
Anne Calodich Fone
“May the God who listens to our hearts and enters into our pain bless us and all who are in need with the comfort and quiet of His gentle presence, now and always. Amen.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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