If we’re being frank here, let’s just put it out in the open and admit that we’ve all cried ourselves to sleep at one point or another. Whether the cause was the loss of a loved one, a break-up, loneliness, or whatever else, we’ve all done it.
I remember there was one night during my preteen years where I cried myself to sleep and thought I would surely drown in a flood of tears (dramatic, I know). But that flood never came…
While I can’t remember the exact reason I was crying, I will never forget how God spoke to me that night. As I laid in my bed under the covers, I suddenly ran out of tears. For whatever reason, I started thinking about the story of Noah’s Ark and how God told Noah that he needed to build an ark because the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood (Genesis 6). Long story short, after the flood, God makes a covenant with Noah promising he would never destroy the earth by flood again. As you may recall from a distant Sunday school class, that covenant was symbolized by a rainbow.
At that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper this thought: “Your world won’t be flooded by tears either.”
What I’ve come to understand from that nugget of divine wisdom is that no situation—no matter how horrible—will cause you to cry more than you can handle. It will not be the end of your world.
You see, sometimes crying is a form of worship. It literally empties us in a way that allows God to move in and work in us. Go through a couple Psalms and you’ll see that the psalmists often cried out to God:
“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” Psalm 18:6
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears!” Psalm 39:12
The Bible even says that God puts our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). And this is not because God “enjoys” to see us cry. When Jesus lived on earth, he too experienced the pain of loss, injustice, and betrayal. You name it, he went through it and still didn’t sin. And it was all so he could empathize with us in every way possible so that when you and I cry out to him, we can rest assured that he hears us and answers us (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Whatever situation you find yourself in, please know that your pain is not in vain. Your pain IS valid even if people say otherwise, or don’t understand why you’re hurting so much. It might take some time to get through it all too. In Noah’s story, when the rain had finally stopped, it took MONTHS for the water to subside and reveal dry ground again.
So the next time you feel a major crying session approaching, just go ahead because God can handle it. Hey, even Jesus wept (John 11:35). And the next time you look up and see a rainbow, just remember the promise that it’s not over yet.
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