One of my all-time favorite Bible verses is John 11:35: “Jesus wept.” There are many opinions as to why Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb, but that’s not what I want to talk about today. Think with me for a moment just about the fact that Jesus cried. Though He was fully God, He was also fully human, and therefore He had emotions. I would guess that he had the full spectrum of every emotion known to man. He was sometimes angry, sometimes fearful, sometimes sad, and though there is not really a record of it in the Bible, I’m sure He laughed and enjoyed humor, too.
But what really endears me to Him as a human is that he cried. What this tells me is that it’s OK if I cry sometimes, too. God said that Jesus was perfect, and that He was well pleased with Him, and Jesus cried! Crying is not necessarily a sign of not trusting God, or of weak faith. Crying is just the fruit of human emotion, and sometimes we all must cry.
Now, you may be wondering why I’m suddenly advocating crying, when I’ve shared so many blog posts about how to change your thinking so that you don’t end up there! But really, the heart change that I am so determined to help you achieve actually includes crying. If we’re honest, there are times when life is overwhelming. The bottom drops out as the ceiling crashes in, and we are in the middle. No amount of thought change will give you dry eyes when your husband dies suddenly or your adult child reveals a level of sinfulness you could not have imagined. There is no amount of thought training, scripture memory, or counselor training that can or should stop the tears in these moments,
Months, years or even decades after such tragedies, we may still be grieving, and at times, still crying. There are some things in life that we will never, in these bodies, “get over.” And so, we cry. We cry to release the deep sadness, anger, or fear that persists. We cry in anguish, in frustration, and in our human sense of circumstantial helplessness. But when we cry, we cry to God. We cry to Him for comfort in our grief, strength in our weariness, and perseverance in the face of faith-shaking circumstances. We cry to Him for healing, for salvation, for forgiveness, and for hope. And we thank Him for this gift of tears.
We can train our thinkng and seek heart change for the matters of everyday life, and we can trust God and thank Him for our refining as we grow and change. But these heart-crushing landmarks in life must be lamented and mourned. There is no way around it.