God Never Wastes A Hurt

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Psalm 147:3

I was in a conversation last night with our church elders and listening intently as Larry shard about the health of his mother in law who was just recently diagnosed with cancer. Larry was sharing how though we don’t understand the why often times when someone we love is sick or dying, especially when they love the Lord and are in so much pain we don’t stop trusting that the plans of God are good. It’s in moments like these where our faith gets tested. As he shared I was reminded that the answers to our why questions often times are substitutions for trust. Since everything God does is with eternity in mind we will not know this side of heaven what God was doing. And thats ok as God never told us to pray for understanding but instead to pry for the peace that surpasses understanding.

As I was praying for Ramona the Lord reminded her story is one of redemption. Like Ramona, I believe that each of our stories was written for God to restore them. Thats what God does. He redeems and He restores. Like any deep wound the healing process usually takes longer than what we anticipated and is far more painful than we were prepared and why the tears so easily flow. The psalmist understands and offers a healing balm reminding us that our tears are never lost on God but instead they are caught by Him and bottled up. Thats what Psalm 56:8 tells us, “You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?”

Why would God catch our tears some would ask? In a word, worship. Our tears are a form of worship to God. What words could never fully communicate, tears capture beautifully and just like the golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints we read about in Revelation 5:8, our tears speak volumes with regard to our story of redemption. How you might be thinking? The answer is, God never wastes a hurt.

In ancient Hebrew culture it wasn’t a strange thing for a woman to catch her tears in a bottle. Both tears of gladness as well as sorrow were collected and preserved in a glass bottle and presented to her husband on their wedding day. This glass bottle of tears collected over her lifetime were given as a gift to her bridegroom as if to say, “all that I am, and all that I have, I give to you.” The bottle of tears beautifully illustrated to her husband, “everything in my heart now belongs to you.” Upon acceptance of the gift of this bottle of tears the bridegroom was communicating to his bride, “I will hold your heart more tenderly than I do my own" and just as important, "Your heart will always be safe with me." Yes, loved one, God is near to the broken hearted and He promises to bind up our wounds. If there were no wounds there would be no need for the Comforter.

At the culmination of human history we are told in the book of Revelation (Revelation 21:1-7) that Jesus Himself will once and for all wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will no longer be a need for tears in heaven, at least not the type of tears that are associated with our hurts and pain. Yes, loved one, there is coming a day when Jesus will separate us once and for all from all of our past hurts and sorrows as He has promised to make all things new!  

Until that glorious day, we are invited, and even encouraged to let the tears flow. We do well to keep in mind the words of Dr. Earl Grollman who penned, “Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.”

“Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.”

Luke 7:44  


Michael Osthimer





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