“Look, God’s home is now amongst His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:3-4).
What was the first sound you ever made in the world? What will the last be? Chances are, the first thing you did was cry.Throughout your life, you will have many reasons to shed your tears. And few are the deaths that have no associated weeping
If you’ve ever been around a baby, you know: they cry – a LOT! For whatever reason, God decided to make that our only way of communicating when we’re quite small. So although the Bible tells us,“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him” (Psalm 127:3), it’s hard for every new parent to remember that, especially with all the fussing.
As infants, we cry because of hunger, boredom or discomfort… and this sets the stage for our entire lives. That’s one reason it’s so important to learn early to turn to God when we are upset or need something. The Bible instructs parents to “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from [God’s ways].” (Proverbs 22:6).Our parents or caretakers are the first way we “see God.” We have to ask them – by crying – for what we need. Later in life, we learn to “cry out” to God.
As a Child
St. Paul told his Corinthian friends, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.”(Corinthians 13:11). How do children reason? Not well. This is the age in which we start to have much more of a sense of self – and of “mine.” This is the age when humans selfishly start fighting and arguing with one another – both verbally and physically – over possessions or perceived insults.
What can we do ? ? Again, we have to depend on our parents or caregivers to teach us, so we don’t give in to behaviors that lead to tears. We are advised to “[Live] as children of obedience [to God].” (1 Peter 1:14).
After a Few Years
Being a teenager is difficult, even if you’ve been raised to lean upon the Lord. During those years, it’s very hard to remember the injunction from Proverbs to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5).
As teenagers, going our own ways, we cry about romantic love, school, family situations, trouble with friends, etc. Perhaps if more of us, as teens, were to learn obedience to and respect of God and family, we’d have fewer reasons for tears. We certainly get into less trouble when we follow the Lord’s will.
End of the Line
And what do we gain after all those decades of toil and strife? Can anything on earth dry our tears? In these last years of our lives, our bodies – and even brains – can have deteriorated such that the pain can cause many tears for ourselves and our loved ones. The Bible’s Job notes that “[God] silences the trusted adviser and removes the insight of the elders.” (Job 12:20), because true wisdom is from God alone.
And that is Whom we have to trust try dry our tears when the end of earthly life is near. God reminds us:
“I have cared for you since you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” (Isaiah 46:3-4).
As we get on in years, we can look back to see the fruit of our lives: was it spent following God or rebelling against Him? Will we leave the earth a better place because of what God has let us do here… or did we leave more people in tears? At the hour of our death, what sound will we leave the world with?
Does God know how we feel?
Famously, the shortest verse of the Bible states that “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35). He was crying with anger and grief because of the death of His friend Lazarus. Later, Jesus grieves over the Holy City, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let Me.” (Luke 13:34). Jesus is shown with tears for a friend and tears for a people.
When our Savior died on the cross, St. Matthew wrote that He “cried out in a loud voice, …My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?“ (Matthew 27:46).
Just as we leave the world with tears – often tears for a loved one – Jesus, too, cried to His Father. It was prophesied that He would be “a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” (Isaiah 53:3). So, yes, God knows what it feels like to cry the tears of this world!
Is There Any Hope?
The Bible tells us that “When this perishable [earthly body] puts on the imperishable [eternal glory] and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, ‘Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:54).
In other words, when we join the Lord in Heaven, we will never have to worry about any of the things in this life that have caused us tear!
So trusting God – believing His promises for us – is our only hope. The worldly death, sorrow, crying, and pain cannot end until it is God’s will. So from the time we take our first breath and release our first cry, until the time we draw our last breath and others weep for our passing, let us believe in God’s promises of guidance and salvation!
“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.” (Psalm 73:26).