Encouragement for Today - May 14, 2012


Ali Smith

May 14, 2012

Hiding My Tears
Ali Smith

"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)

For years I kept my tears far from the eyes of anyone else. I simply refused to cry. Hiding my tears started with one little tooth.

"Just tilt your head back, close your eyes and I'll yank it out on the count of three ... ready? 1 ... 2 ... 3!"

I was only six, too little for that sharp surge of pain that rushed through my mouth. So of course it was only natural I burst into tears.

"You big cry baby!" That's my dad for you. The big heroic tooth extractor laughed.

All I could do was whimper amid muffled sobs, "But it hurts!" I nursed the gaping hole in my gums with a soggy paper towel. My historic moment of bravery turned into one pathetic flop. I had proved myself an official wimp.

That day sealed the deal. Crying became a strictly private and pretty much non-existent affair ... even into my adult years. Any time I felt tears coming, like a dam about to burst, I forced them to stay where I thought they belonged: hidden deep within my soul for no one else to see.

When I stumbled across these two treasured lines my perspective on crying changed: "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 56:8b (NLT)

I couldn't believe it. Someone else wanted to store my tears! And in a far better place than the corners of my heart. Isn't it amazing to think each droplet we've shed over our years of experiences {including losing our first tooth} has been collected in a precious bottle? Held near and dear to our Father's heart.

You see, God doesn't laugh when we cry. He doesn't tell us to toughen up or turn the page on our tears like they don't exist. Instead, He picks us up on His lap and wraps us in His loving arms as we pour out our hearts to Him. Our Lord loves for us to let Him in on our deepest felt emotions.

I wonder what might cause your tears to flow right now—unanswered prayers ... unmet promises ... uncertainties of life—they are seen and saved by the One who comforts and cares for your every need.

Whatever is holding you back, may I encourage you? Open the floodgate of your heart and release your tears, sit quietly with the Lord and listen. Journal. Or take a walk and give your tears to Him. His arms are open and He is waiting for you to come to Him.

Dear Lord, thank You that You created me with tear ducts and all. Keep me from hiding my emotions out of fear of what others might think. Grant me the courage to cry, knowing that You will be there to comfort and console my heart in all of life's circumstances. Your love never fails and I am so very grateful. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Have you turned to Jesus as your Comforter?

{w}hole: An Honest Look at the Holes in Your Life and How to Let God Fill Them by Lisa Whittle

Ali Smith serves as a contributing writer for She Seeks, our division for 20'somethings! If you're in your 20s or love someone who is we hope you'll stop by today!

Reflect and Respond:
Was crying an acceptable thing in your family growing up? Reflect on ways in which your perspective on tears was shaped based on your upbringing.

What keeps you from expressing your emotions fully and freely around those you love? Ask God to show you what might be blocking or hindering your ability to be vulnerable.

Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (NIV)

Psalm 62:8, "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." (NIV)

© 2012 by Ali Smith. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Monday, 14 May 2012.