“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 over 10 years, I’ve struggled with dry eyes. The irony of this condition is that tears often run down my cheeks, making others think I’m upset. It can be embarrassing.
My optometrist has recommended several different lubricating eye drops—some of which have helped. During allergy season, the condition worsens, forcing me to use artificial tears from a bottle more often.
While reading Psalm 56:8 recently, I was reminded our tears are recorded in God’s book. When King David penned this Psalm, he was facing a dark time. The Philistines had captured him in Gath. But if God really collects our tears in a literal bottle, mine would be overflowing, and not just from my dry eye condition.
Remembering Our Tears
Whether or not we believe God literally saves our tears in a bottle, I believe He remembers every tear we’ve shed. Whether we cry when we’ve lost a loved one or we’re overcome with life’s stressors, God remembers them all.
Can you recall the times you’ve cried through pain, sadness, or grief? David reminds us that God is with us through each painful situation. And during these times, we need to reflect on God’s promises and His faithfulness to us in the past.
Remember Matthew 10:29? Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from God’s notice, and neither does one of your tears. David’s tears, however, aren’t the only ones recorded in scripture.
The Cries of Others
Weeping and/or crying is mentioned in different scriptural interpretations more than 200 times. Remember Hagar crying out in the wilderness of Beersheba because she doesn’t want to watch her son, Ishmael, die of thirst?
What about Esau, who wept bitterly after Jacob tricked their father into giving him the blessings intended for the oldest son? And then there was Hannah who wept outside the temple of the Lord because she was barren and desired a child.
In the New Testament, we read about the disciple Peter weeping bitterly after denying Jesus three times. Even though Peter boasted he’d never deny Jesus, he recalls what our Savior had predicted about Peter’s actions when the rooster crowed the third time.
Even Jesus Cried
We know that even “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Jesus was God, but also human, experiencing the same struggles and temptations we all do, including grief. Even though Jesus planned to raise Lazarus from the dead, his compassion for those who were distraught at the loss of their brother and friend moved Him to tears.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, our Savior cried when He considered being separated from His Father (Matthew 26:36-38). Filled with sorrow, Jesus prayed, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
At times we may feel God has forsaken us. But when we’re suffering and struggling in life, God knows. Our difficulties touch Him. But the God of all comfort keeps watch over us because He never slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4). As God told King Hezekiah, so He says to us, “I have heard your prayers, I have seen your tears” (2 Kings 20:5).