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The God of tears . . .

God the father has the heart of the best parent. If we feel pain when our children are in pain, how much more does God, the perfect parent, feel our pain and our sorrow? . . .

GodIt would make sense that God doesn’t have human emotions. However, three things lead me to believe that God shares in our human emotions: We were created in the “image and likeness of God.” (Genesis 1:26) . . . In the Old Testament, the prophet Jeremiah profoundly expressed the weeping heart of God. The book of Jeremiah is filled with emotions, some of which are expressed by Jeremiah to God. Many of the verses are words from God spoken through Jeremiah the prophet: “Speak this word to them: ‘Let my eyes overflow with tears night and day without ceasing; for the virgin daughter, my people, has suffered a grievous wound, a crushing blow.’” (Jeremiah 14:17) . . . .

I love that the gospels give examples of Jesus expressing deep emotion, including pity and sorrow and weeping. When Jesus looked out over the city of Jerusalem, He was deeply moved with sorrow: “He saw the city and wept over it.” (Luke 19:41) It could be that as God, Jesus knew of the siege that was to come upon Jerusalem in 70 AD, when the Romans would take the city and destroy the second temple. Jesus, as God and man, wept for the pain of His people and longed for them to turn to Him . . . .

Ten years ago, I became certain that God shares our sorrow and weeps with us when we are in pain. We were just coming home from a long hospital stay with my daughter, Johanna. She had an infection in her brain that required surgery and potent IV treatments that were similar to chemotherapy. Our children were young. She was hospitalized before Memorial Day and didn’t come home until the end of July. My husband and I were in survival mode and were barely speaking to each other because of the stress. Our hearts were tired and broken.

We came home from the hospital to weeds in the garden, and a pool that was turning green. My husband and I sat up on the pool deck and just cried. We were hurt and angry and very tired. We shared our hearts and prayed together, asking God to meet us in our struggles. As the tears flowed from our eyes and hearts, the skies opened up with a gentle rain that mixed with our tear-stained cheeks and soaked our tired bodies. We looked at each other and laughed as we cried. We knew in that moment the Lord had heard our prayers and met us in our sorrow. We knew that truly “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted,” as God was showering us with His tears and showing us His sorrow in our pain.


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