Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Friday, January 24, 2014

No More Tears

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4
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No matter what causes it to start, it usually starts the same. The initial onset of silence; flush feeling; lump in the throat; then here they come...the tears. We've all cried. Some may cry more than others, and our tears may be provoked by different things, but we all cry. Sometimes when we see others cry, it makes us feel uncomfortable and we might do the "ooo-kkkkk" and then walk away. For some, crying is contagious, and the tears of one can start a flood from others. But, we all cry.

I cry from time to time. If I sat and thought about it for a few minutes, I probably can name just about every time I have cried as an adult. Like when my daughters were born; when my wife got the word that she had to have heart surgery; when my mom died and several times thinking about her since then. There may be a few others, but those are times that I all-out, runny-nose, ugly-face cried. Certainly, there have been many other "near-misses"; times I've tuned up and choked up. A sad or touching movie will work it up in me from time to time (especially when it's a touching moment between a father and child..ever seen that old movie The Champ where the son sees his dad die after a boxing match?...oh that's a tough one). Also, when I feel the presence of God or see God moving in my life or the lives of people around me. That stirs up the tears too.

You ever wonder why we cry? Scientists give many reasons for it. Some say it releases needed hormones or flushes harmful toxins. Some say it relieves emotional pressure that if built up could cause physical problems. Some say its a social device aimed at triggering a reaction from those around the one doing the crying. I guess they're all right. I sort of look at it like we all have an internal, emotional cup. As our emotions build on the inside, whether it's sadness, hurt, anger, love, or whatever it is, that cups fills up until at some point it spills over in tears. I think some people cry quicker than others because they're more emotional and their cup is always at least half full. Not right or wrong; just how they are. Some people rarely let you see them cry because they feel however they feel about crying, and they learn how to intentionally shut off the emotion valve before the cups fills up. Not right or wrong; just how they are. And then there are those who often feel like a good cry would be helpful, but somehow an automatic shut-off switch has been installed by perhaps their parents, their friends, or by the tough situation they grew up in and they can't cry. Not right or wrong; just how they are.

So why all the talk about crying? Well, I don't know. I guess because there's been a lot of crying in my community lately. A lot of deaths. I mean just this week there are two families on my road who have lost a family member. I'm pretty sure they've been doing a lot of crying the last few days. Two co-workers had family members to pass away too. One lost her uncle to a severe asthma attack, and another lost her 15 year old nephew who was shot in the streets. They've probably been doing a lot of crying. So, I don't know. I guess the Lord wanted me to deliver a message to those reading this through tear-soaked eyelashes. First, He wants me to tell you that...it's ok to cry. Don't feel bad about crying or feel like you have to turn your switch off. He gave us tears for a reason. In fact, Jesus wept. So if crying was necessary for Him, it certainly is for us. And I think God also wants me to encourage you with the fact that if you believe in Jesus, then one day you will get to go to a place where tears will no longer be needed. He'll wipe them all away one final time and there will never, ever, ever be another tear to roll down your precious face. So it's ok. Go ahead and use up those tears you've got stored up, because one day you're not going to need them.

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