“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Human beings appear to be the only creatures who cry. Sure, there are animals that shed tears from time to time for functional reasons. Humans, however, seem to be the only ones who genuinely weep in moments of high emotion.
Based on the current scientific research, there is still a great mystery behind the whole subject of our tendency to weep. Some have speculated that it helps purge toxins from the body. Others have proposed that it helps produce hormones to stabilize a person’s mood. Others consider it a safety valve for moments of extreme stress. Still, others say it signals to others close to you that there’s a problem and you need help.
All that aside, you and I know from hard experience what kinds of things can bring us to tears: A close friend abandons you. A family member breaks your heart. Someone you love receives a ghastly diagnosis. Your child or grandchild is seriously injured. Financial catastrophe leaves you feeling helpless. A critical mass of regret is smothering you. Your burden of life responsibilities overwhelms you. A death surrounds you in the darkness of grief.
Virtually all of us have known such tears. We have felt them on our cheeks. We’ve tasted their saltiness. We’ve struggled with the lump in the throat. We have choked on our own stifled sobs.
Such weeping comes from sin—your sin and mine. For the brokenness of this broken world, the tears fall. For the pain that sin breeds, the tears fall. For the mournful mess that sin has left, the tears fall.
But as they do, the Lord speaks. In Revelation chapter 7, his Word reminds us that our hot, salty tears of grief, pain, disappointment, and loss—these tears are temporary. These tears will not last. For the One who has “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” has seen to it that these tears will come to an end. Our Savior has come. His life and death in our place have destroyed the cause of our tears. Very soon, our only tears will be tears of joy. Forever.
Lord Jesus, you know what it is to weep in this fallen world. Remind me that the tears of grief are temporary, but the tears of joy are forever. Amen.