I’ll be honest with you? Shedding tears helps me now and then. There are days when I cry a lot, and I also have days when I barely shed any tears at all. Shedding tears for me feels like having a gigantic mountain of snow melting off my back. I have another confession: I cry a lot. It doesn't take a lot for me to cry.
“You’re a master of manipulation!”
“You cry to get your way!”
“Oh it’s because you’re a basket case!”
I've heard these statements many times before, and maybe—for those who cry a lot like me— hear these things about themselves as well. On the other hand for those who don’t cry a lot, you attach these statements to those who cry in the drop of the hat; maybe you just desire to know why people shed tears. While it may be true, some are manipulators, attention seekers, or a little rough around the edges.
But there is this truth. We all cry. For whatever reason. Shedding tears is a physical occurrence that let’s ourselves and others know that there is some sort of connection, expression, or emotion that has captivated our hearts.
- “Crying isn't for men. Only women are supposed to cry.”
- “Crying is for weak people.”
- “Crying is a sign of insecurity.”
IF these myths were true then Jesus would have not wept because He felt empathy and compassion for Mary and Martha due to Lazarus death (John 11:35).
IF these myths were true David would have not expressed his emotions through the book of Psalms and revealed to us that he was sometimes depressed, in despair, and spent many days and nights crying out to God.
IF these myths were true then Jeremiah would not be known as the “weeping prophet”. Jeremiah cried because he constantly suffered agony, pain, and ridicule for telling people what thus saith the Lord.
IF these myths were true then the women who had lived a sinful life would have not anointed Jesus’ feet with an alabaster jar of perfume and wet His feet with her tears (Luke 7:38).
IF these myths were true then God would have not told us to cry out to Him! God reminds us in His word to cry out to Him when we are going through hard times and when we are not going through hard times. He said in His word that He is attentive to us when we cry out to Him. Since God let us know that God listens to us when we cry should encourage our faith in Him and be at rest.
The book of Psalms is loaded with chapters of David crying, pleading, groaning, and moaning to God to save, help, and deliver him. Look at some of these things that David wrote in Psalms. We can say these things when we cry out to God when we need to be saved, helped, and delivered by Him. From time to time we may even feel just like David. Do these sound familiar to any of us?
Psalm 34:6 (NIV)
“This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.”
Psalm 57:2 (KJV)
“I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
Psalm 130:1 (KJV)
“OUT of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.”
Psalm 69:3 (NIV)
“I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail looking for my God.”
There are many more Scriptures that can reveal what was in David’s heart. He felt pain, discomfort, burdened, perplexed, but there is great news! There is encouragement when we cry out to God. God wouldn't tell us to cry out to God if it doesn't give us strength or relief. If we are oppressed, depressed, weary, drained, or tired God still encourages us to cry out.
God hears us and encourages us as we cry out. Though we are afflicted He gives us energy and strength to press through.
Psalm 10: 17 (NIV)
“You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed in order than man, who is of the earth may terrify no more.”
God will not ignore you and hide his face from you when you cry. God is listening. He knows what you’re going through. He just wants you to come to Him with your tears. Ask Him for help and He will!
Psalm 22: 24(NIV)
“For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
God is mighty. God operates with a strong hand. He is the only One who can deliver us. He is the only One who can bring us out. When our hearts are broken into pieces, God steps in and saves us. He is close to the down and out. God is greater than all of our afflictions.
Psalm 34: 17-19
“The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Secondly, in the midst of tears we may feel that God has left us and forgot about us. God promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. We are on His mind and He thinks about us. He is concerned about us. He cares about us. He loves us. Jesus Christ felt this way when He was crucified on the cross (Matthew 27:45). David thought that God forgot about him because he was being attacked and tormented by his enemies (Psalm 42:9-10). Trials, tribulations, and attacks from the enemy can make us question that God has left us to fend for ourselves. God fights for us. God is our vindicator. God is our refuge. In addition to that, God keeps record of every tear we shed (Psalm 56:8). Our tears aren't even despised by Him so why do we think God forgets us?
Now that we have accounts of people in Scripture who have cried including our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I hope we are encouraged to seek God’s face whenever we have tears in our hearts and our eyes. Here are some instructions on how to release tears from ourselves and right onto God.
Step One: Allow the tears to come and don’t hold them back.
This is easier said than done. I remember there was a time in my life when I held every tear inside. I didn't know how release what was inside of me so overtime the pain grew. Once I let them out (in private or to someone I trusted and confided in) I felt better. I felt even better when God told me to cry out to Him whenever I needed to. If this is hard for you, give it a try. When you feel the urge to cry, try and go off somewhere where it’s just you and God and let the tears roll. Keep in mind what made you tear up or cry. This may sound crazy but if you continue to weep, continue. Everyone needs a release. That may be your time to do so.
Step Two: Approach the throne of grace to receive help, grace, and mercy that you need. In other words, PRAY!
Prayer is vital in every believer’s life. Without prayer we’re not connected to God. Without prayer we will not hear what the Spirit of God is saying. Tears, groans, and moans count as prayers to God. This is also praying in the Spirit. It’s not just limited to speaking in tongues. The Spirit intercedes on our behalf. The Spirit KNOWS the will of God. Since the Spirit knows why we are crying, groaning, or moaning, and knows the will of God, we can cry out even when we don’t know why or understand. All of this is located in Romans 8.
Step Three: Praise and worship Him!
We ought not to stay down because we cry. It’s easy to weep and be distressed while we are going through, but God is worthy to be praised! God reigns forever. God is Almighty! God is Awesome! Having an attitude of gratitude in the midst of our troubles puts the focus on God and gives Him the praise that is forever due to Him!
“…weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning!” – Psalm 30:5 (KJV)
[photo source: Whispers of the Heart]