Tears in a Bottle

Psalms 56:8  You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

A friend’s child recently encountered an unkind child at school.  At some point in life, we watch our children be treated unfairly.  In kindergarten, another child threatened my child and our family.  There were tears.  When my friend explained her child’s scenario, I couldn’t think of any advice to give her.  It’s doesn’t get easier as our kids get older.  I’m not sure that it will be any easier when my children are adults in the work space.  No advice.

As I thought about this over the weekend, God placed one piece of advice on my heart.  Don’t waste the tears.  Tears are precious.  Difficult times give us an opportunity to share what we believe as Christians and as parents about the important things in life.  How do we help frame what happened?  It’s a great time to talk about differences in families, beliefs, and treatments.  It’s a time to provide empathy for the other student who is obviously not in a kind home.  It’s a time to reinforce how our actions make other people feel.  It’s a time of open tears and open hearts.

I reflected upon my own tears and each lesson that I learned through those tears.  I wept over the desire to have children, and I mourned the loss of my first pregnancy, and I cried when my second pregnancy was in potential trouble.  But, I learned that my children are truly God’s.  They are in his hands.  Any sense of control that I felt eroded in that experience, and I have raised my two children (pregnancies 2 and 3) differently as a result of that realization.  The tears weren’t wasted.  God remembered my sorrow and kept my tears close to him; they are recorded in his book because they are important.

Over my lifetime, there has been far more blessings than pain and far more joy than tears.  I serve a God that has a purpose through every experience.  Not one tear has been wasted.