Thursday, October 2, 2014

See God {Day 2: The God of Compassion}

I just feel like you should know that your tears are not wasted.

"Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over. God saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God's presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the God-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored God's name.

God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, "They're mine, all mine. They'll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them. Once more you'll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn't, between serving God and not serving him." (Malachi 3:16-18 The Message)

The NIV states one verse like this: "A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name."

It seems to me that every time we talk with one another and speak of how awesome our God is, God has someone come over and make a record of it so he can treat them with something a little special. "For those who honor me, I will honor." 1 Samuel 2:12-36

Don't you just love the Holy Spirit? I mean, he has the coolest job in the world (aside from the fact that he is God,) as he gets to continually point us to Christ and make Christ better known. Love that! So, I was reading these verses and immediately, the verse about God storing all our tears in a bottle came to mind.

Psalm 56:8
"You tellest my wanderings; put thou my tears into thy bottle; are they not in thy book?" (KJV)

Do you see what I see? God doesn't only write down the accounts when we glorify His name; He is also writing down each tear of lament and storing it in His bottle! He is a compassionate God who understands pain.

Psalm 139:3 says, "You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways." Our tears speak a special language that goes straight to the heart of the Father. When King Hezekiah was sick, he prayed to God and wept bitterly. God tells him that He has heard his prayer and has seen his tears. God later heals him.

Part of us may scream, "Well, so what?" We are human and God is well, God. It is easy for me to forget that Jesus walked this earth as a human, as well. Even though he was fully God, he walked amongst us as fellow humans. He hurt. He even cried. We see in Luke 19:41 that he cries over the city of Jerusalem, knowing they had thrown away the one and only thing that would bring them peace. He also cries over his friend Lazarus and his sisters' expressions of anguish and grief. He knows he is about to raise Lazarus from the dead, and yet he is moved with compassion at the loss of his friend and the deep sorrow of his friends.

Did you know that in Bible times, it was actually a tradition to take a bottle to a funeral and fill it with the tears of those mourning? It represented the sorrow of the family. They believed that the more tears the bottle possessed, the more important, valued, and loved the deceased person was to them. Sometimes, they would even bury the bottle of tears with the deceased.

In a sense, Jesus died for our tears. In most cases, isn't it the war ravaging effects of sin (ours included)that bring us to tears? Death was the curse of sin. Isn't the death of something, either figuratively or literally, the thing that moves us most to weeping? He cares that our hearts are broken. He knows what a broken heart feels like.

But, someday, the old order of things will pass away!
 Revelation 21:1-4:
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Glory! I like to picture it kind of like this: Jesus the Messiah is walking towards me, carrying a large glass container that has some type of liquid in it. He shows me his nail-scarred hands and tells me that his blood has covered over every single tear collected. He then realizes that I am bawling my eyes out in his presence, this is God, after all, and he lifts my head. He ever so gently cradles my face in his hands and wipes away the last tears that my body will ever cry again. I am set free. The old order of things has passed away!
Your tears are not wasted, sweet child of God. God is a God of compassion and every single drop from your beautiful eyes has been put in His precious bottle. One day you will have nothing left to cry about.  He loves you that much.

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