Your Tears in His Bottle
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.Psalm 56:8 NLT
Your tears are important to God. They must be. He collects them in a bottle. Tears are a gift from God, a means to embracing your pain, releasing emotion, and revealing the depth of your love. Poetically, if God collects all the tears you cry during your life’s journey, if he keeps track of all your sorrows, then surely he cares about them. He is aware of what causes them. God records them all in his book!
Psalm 56 is a lament, a passionate expression of grief. In this case, it’s a musical expression of deep sorrow and humble prayer. As such, David turns toward God and begins with a simple plea, “Be gracious to me, O God” (Psalm 56:1). However, as he pleads with God for sustaining grace, David also draws strength from the assurance of divine care and protection. “This I know, that God is for me,” he reminds himself (Psalm 56:9).
Interestingly, the apostle Paul encourages believers in Jesus Christ the very same way. He brings the same stabilizing truth to our minds. “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31–32).
Something bad has happened to you and you have suffered loss. As a result, you may be tempted to think of God as being distant or even against you. But if you belong to him, through repentant faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there is nothing that can ever separate you from his love: not heartbreak, not distress, not disability, not death, not loss of any kind, nothing (Romans 8:38–39)!
How do I know this is true for you or for me? We know it because God gave his one and only Son to purchase us from the slave market of sin, to adopt us into his family (Galatians 4:5). If God did not hold back his only Son, but gave him up as a sacrifice, you are right to conclude that he will not withhold himself or his love from you. There is no need you have which he will not work overtime to meet. There is no hurt you cannot take to him.
Have you talked to God about your loss? You might want to memorize 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your cares on him, for he cares for you”!
[This post is Day 2 of the 50-day devotional: A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing, published by New Growth Press.