Want What You’ve Got! (tears)


I sat in my parked car on the driveway the other day with the cell phone held tight against my ear. On the other end was one of the most dear and gracious women I know, and when her tears began to flow, so did mine. It hurts to let go of our loved ones – to be the one left behind.

Later in the day, as I was loading up the car to make an after-school carpool run, I spotted my next door neighbor in his garage. I haven’t seen him outside for weeks – he’s quite ill and his daughter has moved in to care for him. I stopped to chat and couldn’t help but notice how tired and gaunt his face had become. He told me about the way his condition drains every ounce of energy. He said that most of the time he just wants to rest – to fall asleep and never wake up. His words made me sad and I remembered the tear-stained face of his daughter as she returned from a walk last week. It hurts to watch our loved ones suffer without a way to really ease their pain.

Family drama, broken relationships, fences in dire need of mending, lonely tears of hopelessness which threaten to end a life… From our jail cells to our hospital beds, it hurts to be a part of this desperately broken world.

Are we to want the tears, too? Because I’m pretty sure none of us can really Want What We’ve Got when what we’ve got is so far from the way we want things to be.

Tears betray our true condition. The Psalmist’s words resonate with us in the midst of our trials:

“I’m tired of all this—so tired. My bed has been floating forty days and nights on the flood of my tears. My mattress is soaked, soggy with tears. The sockets of my eyes are black holes; nearly blind, I squint and grope.” (Psalm 6:6, 7 MSG)

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is filled with the desperate cries of our forefathers and mothers. No one wants to be lost, hurt, lonely, wounded, left for dead, homeless or abandoned, yet these are the days of our lives. If we believe in a good God and yet suffer calamity along with those who have no faith, why in the world should we Want What We’ve Got if what we’ve got only leads us to rivers of tears?

I have only one answer today, and you’re probably not going to like it. It may not be enough to satisfy your need to understand your suffering. I really wish there was more I could say… but the common denominator among the most tear-filled passages of scripture is that, while squinting and groping, we do the only thing we can do while gasping for air and battling to stay afloat… we cry out to God.

If tears are what you’ve got today, you have something to offer to the God who collects every tear in His bottle (Psalm 56:8) and records every pain in His book. Like it or not, our tears draw us toward God, and this may be the only way through the rainy season you find yourself in.

So scream out loud, shake your fists, cry your tears of anger and confusion! The God who longs for you to look His way is going to be there to meet you when you turn, and He can take whatever you can dish out in your struggle to Want What You’ve Got.

Daily Questions: What kinds of tears are you crying today – tears of disappointment? Anger? Frustration? Betrayal? Loss? If the only good thing about tears is that they position us to connect with the God who loves us, are you willing to reach past the hurt to the Healer? Read through the Psalms for proof that God is close to the brokenhearted (start with Psalm 34 & 42).


6 thoughts on “Want What You’ve Got! (tears)

  1. Can you imagine the quantity of tears that each person has let fall from their eyes in one lifetime? Even in my past 19 years I can only begin to imagine the large swimming pool that could be formed from my own tears. Every time that I would cry, my mom would be there to comfort me, These were in time of joy, sadness, anger, confusion, happiness, stress, and pretty much every emotion out there.

    Probably the wisest person I know–my mother– would always know when to speak and when to keep silent. One thing I vividly remember her saying was how every tear that I cried was a precious GEM to God. This human reaction of crying was seen to God as beautiful…

    A few weeks ago I got the most difficult phone call from that same comforting voice. My mom told me that my uncle and her brother has a incurable type of occipital cancer that has spread into his brain. I don’t think I have ever cried so hard or long almost until the point that I couldn’t breathe. Only now do I realize that God shared in my grief, pain, anger, and sadness towards the injustice of death. Instead of crying helplessly like I did God has already done something about it. He gave up the most precious relationship He has and that was with His son–Jesus.

    My Uncle Rob is a pastor in California, is married to the love of his life, and has four beautiful children that are all grown up and moved out of the house. His character and faith inspires me and continues to touch me daily. I would appreciate any prayers that you could send his way. God has a plan through out all of this and I am humbled to be a part of it.

    And no matter how many tears I shed I know that God sees them as treasures and opportunities to be there for me. Thank you and I felt like this may be encouraging to others.

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