Should today bring weeping and grief we are given permission to draw from the joy of tomorrow and yesterday. Behind us we have the consolation of Christ, and before us we have the promised extinction of tears.
The exhortation we receive in Scripture to rejoice always does not nullify our sadness. God does not ask of us that we be sub-or-super-human. He asks us to be human in the same way his Son was, feeling the same feelings he felt, and being stirred to tears by the same things that stirred him. Our sadness is not a threat to God, nor is it a threat to our own sanctification. Our sadness paves a way for hope; it bolsters us to participate in a true joy that moves us beyond mere happiness or superficial sorrows. It is in our sadness that we are joined to Jesus. It is our tears along with his that flow into a stream of life.
It is in Jesus that we feel a solidarity stronger than the grave and fiercer than suffering. It is in him we hope, and with the future resurrection we long. Through the tears we weep alongside him, we are given an opportunity to use our tears, to squeeze those moments for all they have to offer. We are allowed to cry, to feel what we feel, to suffer and to ask “why?” because of the bodily life of Jesus. We are allowed to be at peace with the fact that we have human emotions because Jesus had them too. And as Jesus died, resurrected, was glorified, and now looks ahead toward the marriage supper of the Lamb and his bride, we too have an opportunity to have hope in our strife as we await a day when all that is crooked will be made straight. Through our tears we are offered the clarity of sight to see Jesus’s hand extended to us as an invitation toward wholeness in him.
The Promise of Tears
There is a promise in our tears—a promise of redemption and resurrection. As we make room for our sorrow and sadness, God prepares us as citizens of his kingdom, and Jesus holds space for us as co-heirs to God’s glorious riches. Our sorrows are not an obstacle to faith in God and hope in his promises. Rather, they act as a bridge to Jesus who has felt all we feel and has an end-game in mind for our tears.