God Remembers and Cares About Our Tears

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.
Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call.
This I know: God is for me.”
Psalm 56:8-9

Sad and alone. Sitting on a step with my arms crossed and leaning on my knees and my head hanging, I felt a lick of sympathy on my face. Someone had noticed my pain. Our dog had wriggled his way underneath my arms.

He comforted me like no one else did or could do at the time. As a kid growing up on a farm, dogs often were my best friends. They sat with me. They didn’t have to say a word. They just soaked in my sorrows as if they were crying with me.

Yes, dogs have the amazing God-given ability to sense when something is wrong and to comfort us. To be our faithful and devoted companions. It can never compare with the comfort God is ready to give us, but in hindsight I now believe that it was His way of caring for me even when I didn’t know He cared.

Every single tear we shed has meaning to Him. Whether they run from our eyes or make pools in our hearts. From birth to the present and on into the future. Every. Single. Tear.

God remembers our every sorrow as if He kept each tear in a bottle. He records each and every one in His book of remembrance. And I believe God adds His own tears right alongside ours. He cares that deeply.

God may not have a literal bottle or book, but He remembers every single thing that happens in our lives, including our suffering. He is a tender-hearted Father to us, a God who feels with us and weeps with us (Exodus 3:7John 11:33–35).

We are not alone, even when it feels like it. Many times in my life, I wondered where God was when I needed Him. But looking back, I now realize He was with me all along. Crying with me. Yes, He could have stopped bad things from happening to me. But He knew I would learn a deeper compassion and empathy if I personally experienced suffering myself.

God is for us. Always. He knows each of us better than we know ourselves. He knows what we need to experience in order to better empathize with others who suffer.

I wasn’t always aware of this. There have been more fist-raised or curl-up-in-a-ball moments than I can count. I could see no purpose whatsoever in people violating me. But God is helping me to realize that if I hadn’t experienced the pain, I could not cry with others like He cries with me.

Do you feel sad and alone? Like no one cares? It may feel like it, and surely, the devil wants us to believe that. But it’s not true. I know it’s a rough road to recovery. When our trust is so shattered, it’s not easy to believe anyone cares, even that God does. We may become terrified to open our hearts to anyone, out of fear of being hurt again. But there are those who do care. If you are hurting, please know I care.

Above all, there is One who has unconditional love and endless compassion towards us. He yearns for us to run to Him and freely confide in Him. He will never, ever hurt us, condemn us, or reject us. He will lovingly apply His healing balm to all the hurts in our hearts. He never misses a tear we shed but cares and collects every single one in His bottle of remembrance, adding His own with them.

“He Knows My Name”
by Maranatha Singers

“He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call.”

You Make a Difference, More Than You Know

“Watch what God does, and then you do it,
like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.
Mostly what God does is love you.
Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.
Observe how Christ loved us.
His love was not cautious but extravagant.
He didn’t love in order to get something from us
but to give everything of Himself to us.
Love like that.

Ephesians 5:1-2 The Message

The “butterfly effect” suggests that the whir of air released by a butterfly’s wings can magnify over time to release a power that can affect weather patterns thousands of miles away.  An unnoticed, seemingly insignificant action can intensify to a storm of consequence. Yes, it may take a long time, but it still ripples into the big story God has planned.

Every act of kindness we make causes a reaction which causes even further reactions. Sometimes these acts will be noticed and appreciated, and other times they aren’t. But God still uses them, regardless of the lack of acclaim.

Sometimes it feels like we don’t make a difference in the world, but we do. One act of kindness at a time. Years ago in a Bible Study using The Purpose Driven Life, I met a single mom who day after day washed bedding in the dark basement of a hospital. She was certain she did not have a purpose that glorifies God.  She wondered – What difference do I make in this world?

She woke me up to how much I don’t appreciate the work behind blessings I take for granted.  Those same clean, crisp, white sheets I have laid on in a hospital bed were washed by a woman who thought she wasn’t making a difference in the lives of anyone.  In reality, her quiet, unnoticed flap of wings has made a greater difference than she will ever realize.

When Heaven Is for Real first came out, a friend bought two copies to share with others. I received one copy and shared it with some neighbors whose lives were touched by it.  One neighbor bought a copy and also passed it around, and that person was so impacted that she bought her own copy to share with others. God works wonders from a simple act of kindness and caring.  A flap of the wings and the power releases.

It has been years since I watched the movie Pay It Forward, but the impact of it still resounds in my heart. Trevor came up with an idea for a seventh-grade assignment.  He would pass on an act of kindness to three people, and each of them in turn would pass on a good deed to three more.  His seemingly insignificant act stirred up a whirlwind of kindness in his school, his community, and even spread to other communities. The ending shocked me, but it portrays reality. Not all people accept or pass on kindness. Still, that doesn’t stop the difference our kindness continues to make on others.

Even a smile, a kind word, a door held open, or some other small gesture can sprinkle hope into someone’s heart, whether it’s a family member, friend, or a stranger. And whether or not they’re noticed or appreciated, acts of kindness not only affect those around us today, but by God’s grace they ripple on and shape the lives of others even years from now.

Now consider… If one pair of wings can gradually intensify into a storm, imagine what we can do together.

"What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do.
 The needs are great, and none of us,
 including me, ever do great things.
 But we can all do small things, with great love,
 and together we can do something wonderful."
 ~ Mother Teresa

“Try a Little Kindness”
by Glen Campbell

“May God give us grace
to show the same kindness to others
as He shows to us!”