Sometimes the best thing to do is just to stop and weep. Your heart is broken? You are overwhelmed with emotion and sadness? Your disappointment and grief with this point in your life and your present circumstances can only lead you to sob. Or maybe you are overwhelmed with your sin and failure. Weeping may be the most appropriate thing to do.
If Jesus wept when here on earth, surely we shouldn’t expect ourselves not to weep at times.
How often do we think we need to be stoics? Sometimes we even think it is Christian. It isn’t. If Jesus wept, we know it is not something that is less than Christian. It is human. In weeping, Jesus showed His humanness.
With that said, I have often found it difficult to cry. Yes, I was sad, but the tears that would have brought relief wouldn’t come. A lot of it had to do with circumstances that happened particularly in my adolescence, because crying came very naturally to me as a child. I’m not sure how you are wired. You may have been ridiculed at some point for being a “crybaby” or you may have come up in a culture where the women were free to cry all the time. These have had an effect on the way you process grief.
I don’t know about you and your background. Most of us lean one way or the other. Some of us cry often, others of us cry rarely. But crying when we are sad is a relief. It is a release for our sadness. We need to shed tears. It is much healthier for us to weep than to be stoics and hold in our emotions.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 ESV
So, as you can see, this passage is encouraging us to do what is appropriate to our season, whatever that happens to be.
Some of us need to learn to lament. We prefer to be happy. That is certainly part of our culture. It is uncomfortable to be around grief and sadness. It is uncomfortable to feel that way too!
The encouraging thing is that we can bring our sorrows to GOD. He can also comfort us. It’s not so much either/or, but both/and. As we receive comfort from GOD, we are able to pass along that comfort to others.
This is one example of a lament by Jeremiah. It seems apropos to what is happening in the world around us. Notice the last part…”They are wise in doing evil! But how to do good they know not.” Now that is something to lament about, isn’t it?
So today, if appropriate, weep. If you are grieving or heart broken, weep.
If you are seeing more of your sin, weep…but don’t stop there. Come to GOD in repentance and for forgiveness in Christ. He will forgive and cleanse so you can change and move forward with a new heart.
My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
Oh the walls of my heart!
My heart is beating wildly;
I cannot keep silent,
for I hear the sound of the trumpet,
the alarm of war.
Crash follows hard on crash;
the whole land is laid waste.
Suddenly my tents are laid waste,
my curtains in a moment.
How long must I see the standard
and hear the sound of the trumpet?
“For my people are foolish;
they know me not;
they are stupid children;
they have no understanding.
They are ‘wise’—in doing evil!
But how to do good they know not.”
Jeremiah 4:19-22 ESV
Learning to grieve and lament as well as comfort are areas of weakness in our culture…both our secular culture and our Christian culture. It has been a learning experience for me to learn how to comfort. I’m still not good at it. I’m not sure I have ever been comforted well.
More recently, I have met a younger woman who has comforted me in ways I have never experienced. She weeps for me when I can’t weep for myself. She has prayed over me in ways I don’t think to pray for myself. This may sound self-centered to you, but it has been comforting in ways I have rarely experienced.
If you have that gift, don’t minimize it. It is a rare and holy gift.