Saturday – February 9, 1952
I don’t believe that most mothers want to see their children cry. Crying is generally a sign of distress, discomfort, loss, hunger, fear, pain, or something that is in some way distressing. Sometimes the loving actions of a mom are going to cause tears. For example, as a child I never wanted to be immunized with a needle and I did not look forward to visits at the dentist. Nevertheless, my mom’s love caused her to make certain I received medical and dental care regardless of the short-term agony I might face. She would seek to dry my tears and get me back to joy until the next fear or pain would arrive.
Crying Over Cake
I cannot remember the last time I cried when I was served birthday cake. For some reason, when I was one year old, I cried as I sat in my highchair. A delicious cake, a white whip cream cake, was within reach. That moment in time I was on the verge of tears. Perhaps I was told to “smile” and didn’t have a reason to smile. Maybe I was afraid I would have to eat the whole cake, as we were trained at an early age to “eat everything on your plate.” I really don’t know. But I have evidence from that day that my mom loved me. The evidence is wrapped in a piece of 69-year-old wax paper. Inside the wax paper, around a red birthday candle was a note. The note is a reminder of my mom’s love. She kept the candle as a token of that day and a reminder of her love for me.
The Penny Collection
When I was a boy, I collected pennies. I was intrigued by old pennies, and would go to the bank to get rolls of pennies to search for my missing years. When I found the 1952 candle, I thought of my pennies and went in search of the collection. So that you can see the size of the candle, I put it on the page that has the 1951-1952 pennies. The entire collection covers the years from 1941-1981. So while the pennies have no relationship to tears or my mother’s love, it is another fun part of my childhood.
Whenever I think of the tears of this life, I think of the future of tears. God is far more tenderhearted, forgiving and loving than my mother. My mother was certainly a loving mom, but God is so much grander in his love. He even has a plan for my tears.
The Future of Tears
I take comfort in knowing that even the tears of this life have a purpose. God isn’t causing the tears because he hates me or delights in my pain or sadness. Rather, he has amazing love. The things that cause pain are not his doing. More often than not, they are the result of my own willful disobedience and rebellion. He is a good Father, and will not let me head down that path to even greater pain. How do I know this? Consider God’s responses to tears…
God’s empathy and love for us is greater than we might realize. Our tears do not escape his notice. “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Psalm 56:8
Furthermore, God has an eternity planned for his adopted children that removes every tear, all mourning, all crying and every pain. You can depend on God’s promises related to this. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 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 21:1-4
Our Present Response to Others
I like the Apostle Paul’s concern for the church in Corinth. It is far too easy to get upset with other followers of Jesus Christ. Perhaps we should remember that the Corinthian Church was far from a model place or easy place to minister. Nevertheless, Paul had to rebuke them, but he did so with love and with tears. He felt their pain and wanted to relieve it. “For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.” 2 Corinthians 2:4
May that be true of each of us who claim to be children of the God who will wipe away all of the tears.