Frankie Valli is known for a song back in the 1960s entitled, "Big Girls Don't Cry" — remember? Can you hear him whining "cry-yii-yii"? If you're too young, you might not know this one. You can find it on YouTube. It might be a catchy tune but I'm here to tell you, Frankie is wrong!
I cried a lot several years back. Having a prodigal will do that to you. Actually, I have shed many tears over the years. I am just like my mother, who cries easily. The world would like to think that we are weak people for doing so, but I wasn't too sure about that, so I went to my NIV Bible to do another study of my own. I found out quite a bit.
Guess what? Jesus cried! We believers know this one, because in our younger years of memorizing Scriptures, we caught on to the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35, which says, "Jesus wept." He wept over the sorrow of His friends at the death of Lazarus. Luke 19:41 says that "as he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it," knowing what would befall the people of that city because of their rejection of Him. Hebrews 5:7 tells us that (possibly in the Garden of Gethsemane) "He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears." But He certainly was not weak. He is the strongest man I know. He rose from prayer and went forth boldly, knowing that He was about to be crucified, to die a horrible, painful death. When the soldiers reached up to the cross to give Him vinegar and gall to deaden the pain, He refused it. He wanted to feel, to take on the pain of the whole world. If that is not strength, I don't know what is. And yet, He cried. And I loved reading that He cried out loud, because I have done the same. He understands where we are coming from, how we are feeling, because He has been there.
David, a man after God's own heart, said in Psalm 6:6, "I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears." I hear ya, David! 2 Kings 20:5 records that God saw the tears of King Hezekiah. Job 16:20 tells us that Job, described as a blameless and upright man who feared God, says, "My eyes pour out tears to God." And the apostle Paul gives his advice in Philippians 3:18 with tears.
So you see, we criers are in good company. And did you notice these were big people? A lot of the crying in the Bible was done by men! So it's okay to cry, not just us big girls, but men also.
A footnote in my NIV Life Application Study Bible says:
- God's ability to restore life is beyond our understanding. Forests burn down and are able to grow back. Broken bones heal. Even grief is not a permanent condition. Our tears can be seeds that will grow into a harvest of joy because God is able to bring good out of tragedy. When burdened by sorrow, know that your time of grief will end and that you will again find joy. We must be patient as we wait.
Don't be ashamed; let the tears come and flow as long as needed. "Cry-yii-yii!" I know from experience, as hard as the process is, afterwards, we will feel inwardly cleansed and calmer, and we will sleep well. And remember the good news in Revelation. I found it twice being spoken about believers:
Revelation 7:17 – For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (NIV)
Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (NIV)
How wonderful it is to know that God cares about what we are suffering, about the tears that we shed, and to know that one day, there will be no more need to weep.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for showing us that it is okay to cry, that Jesus wept tears, and that You understand. Thank You for the comfort You always give, and then, You wipe away those tears and leave us renewed. And thank You, Father, for one day wiping away every tear for good for those who trust You, and for providing a home with no more death, pain, or suffering. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.