I’VE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO know that sometimes Christmas hurts. And when words fail, tears flow. In some remarkable way, our complex inner-communication system knows when to admit its verbal limitations and signal its need for assistance. It’s an amazing thing. Lips that previously moved freely begin to quiver. The tongue that was once quick and articulate suddenly becomes limp. Eyes that flashed and sparkled only a few moments before are now loaded with a substance that normally lies hidden in its secret reservoir. Often this happens without the slightest announcement—frequently to our embarrassment. Occasionally, we try in vain to restrain the flow . . . but, alas, even the strongest of men find themselves helpless to do so.
David refers to this phenomenon in the latter half of Psalm 6:8, where he claims:
The LORD has heard my weeping.
You see, tears have a voice all their own—a wordless language not needing an interpreter. Sometimes our tears flow during the singing of a great, majestic hymn. On other occasions, we weep when we are alone, lost in some vivid memory or wrestling in prayer. Tears are not self-conscious—they can spring themselves upon us when we are speaking in public or standing beside others who look to us for strength. Most often they appear when our soul is overwhelmed with feelings that words cannot describe.
Did you know that God takes special notice of those tears of yours? Psalm 56:8 says He puts them in His bottle and enters them into the record He keeps on our lives. How comforting!
This time of year, we must be especially sensitive to those who’ve recently suffered the loss of a loved one, the breakdown of a lifelong marriage, the pain and embarrassment of financial collapse, or the heartbreak of a wayward son or daughter. People everywhere are hurting. The holidays only exacerbate the pain. Loneliness intensifies. So does stress. Don’t be afraid to shed tears with someone who’s experienced the deep sorrow of grief. Tears are a gift from the Lord.
Has God worked in your life in a significant way through Chuck Swindoll and the ministry of Insight for Living? Whatever your story, we’d love for you to tell it to us! Psalm 9:11 tells us to “declare among the peoples His deeds” so others can be encouraged. Submit your story.