Hit The Bottle, Write A Book

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”

Psalm 34:18

Today I think I will hit the bottle and write a book but not in the way you might think. In Psalm 56:8, the Psalmist wrote, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” April 12 is both joyful and sorrowful, and all within a 24 hour period of time, a day that is full of a broad range of emotions. First, thirty five years ago our daughter’s best friend, Danielle was born. Not earth shattering news for most, yet in an instant the world became a more beautiful place for our friends Tink and Sherrill as they welcomed their second child, Danielle Marie Gould into the family. Fast forward to 2014, eight years ago today, my dad left this earth for his heavenly home while I was officiating the wedding of a sweet young couple in our church, David and Candice Mattison who were just beginning their new life together. Like I said, April 12 is a day of both highs and lows and highs again.  

Every year on April 12 the words of Solomon come to my mind. Solomon, who in the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3 verses 1-2 writes these familiar words, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die.” Like most people I get it, I understand what he is saying and yet something within me never gets good with it. Today is one of those days. The good news about April 12 is remembering that though we only got to enjoy Danielle for a handful of her seventeen birthdays here on earth she left her mark that has lasted now for thirty-five. It’s hard to imagine that she has been gone longer than she was here but its true and its thoughts like these that make me thankful that God collects our tears in His bottle. The psalmist doesn’t say God collects our tears in a bottle but in His bottle. Our tears are personal to God and one of the deepest forms of worship we have to offer and the word of God reminds us that not one tear we shed is ever a waste of time.

If knowing God collected our tears in a bottle wasn’t enough, to think He writes them down in His book is almost too good to be true. I recall like it was yesterday the early morning hours after Danielle left to be with the Lord her mom with tears streaming down her own face blurted out of seemingly nowhere, “people will forget her”. Without explanation I knew exactly what she was saying. Sadly, when people die we do forget, but not God. Love remembers. When I think about April 12 and my dad passing from this life to the next I didn’t just cry, I sobbed. Everything in me hurt. It wasn’t that I wasn’t prepared for him to go as I was. He had dealt with some major health issues for over a year prior and we lived each day with the knowledge it could be the last and yet when the day came when it was time for him to go, a part of me went with him.

I have always been comforted knowing that God keeps all our tears in His bottle and He writes them down in His book, especially on this, the anniversary of my dads passing. Here’s my hope for you to keep in mind today, happy tears or sad, God cares about you and is fully aware of what you are going through. He was there celebrating David and Candice as they committed themselves to one another on their wedding day and He was right there rejoicing with the Gould’s on the day Danielle was born into this world. Today God is here with us, bottle in one hand, pen and paper as it were in the other because He loves us and because He cares.

Don’t forget, our tears provide for us a beautiful act of worship as our tears are truly a gift from God not only bring glory to God but comfort to our hearts and healing to our souls as well as to those with whom we are willing to share them with. I love this quote that says, “The tears streamed down and I let them flow as freely as they would, making a pillow for my heart, and on them it rested.” Yes, friends, April 12 is one of those days to hit the bottle and write a book knowing...
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!

Psalm 126:5


Michael Osthimer




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