I don’t know about you, but I’ve done my share of weeping in my 50 years. So much weeping. Some were tears of joy. Most of them were not. Those are the tears I want to talk to you about today.
It’s a well known fact in my house that I cannot watch the Notebook. You know, the Nicholas Sparks movie about a young couple’s love story that ends in the most impossibly sad way? (Of course it does. Because Nicholas Sparks.) It’s one of my favorite movies of all time. But I simply cannot watch it. It makes me physically ill. For days. Not just tears (although there are plenty of them), but actual physical illness. I’ll spare you the details, but trust me– it’s bad. That movie triggers me all over the place and I have not yet been able to watch it and stop the train wreck that ensues. My therapist has suggested that when I am able to watch the Notebook without spiraling into the abyss, that’s when she’ll know I no longer need therapy. It’s going to be a while.
That kind of crying, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call weeping. It’s more than crying. It’s a gut-wrenching outpouring of tears spilling over from the deepest parts of your soul. It’s a kind of crying that feels like a little piece of you is attached to every tear and when they fall, pieces of you are spilling all over the floor. It’s awful. And it feels like you’ll never get those pieces back. But you will. I promise you, you will. You can trust me on this. I’m somewhat of an expert. I’ve wept so many of these soul-piece laden tears. Tears of grief. Tears of loss. Tears of abandonment. Tears of betrayal. Tears of fear. Tears of hopelessness. So. Many. Tears. And what I’ve learned is this:
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. – 1 Peter 5:10
God doesn’t let us linger in our suffering forever. He himself restores, confirms, strengthens, and heals us. When the time is right– and only he knows when that is– he will pick up those little soul-pieces you left on the floor and put them right back inside you even stronger than they were before. If you are in that weeping place right now, I pray that God would give you the strength to endure the pain of the moment and the trust that in a little while he will restore you. It’s the same prayer I pray for myself on a daily basis. I’m hoping he picks up the Nicholas Sparks pieces soon, because –dang it– I really love that movie.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. – Psalm 30:5
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