Jun 01, 2020 • Written by Judy Episcopo
TEARS IN A BOTTLE
“You keep track of my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8).
All Scripture is God breathed, and the book of Psalms can be especially powerful as we face difficult times. The Psalms reflect a wide range of human emotion from complaint to praise; fear to faith, and sorrow to joy. Sometimes all in the same refrain!
They give us permission to bring our raw and uncut emotions to the throne of God. This is one reason why I believe Psalms is such a popular choice for many to read in times of distress and sorrow.
Psalm 56 is an example of this. David wrote this Psalm when he was on the run from murderous King Saul. David had become desperate enough that he had to turn to Israel’s enemies to hide him and his men. In this Psalm, David’s anxiety is so intense and his faith so determined that he considers how God has collected and recorded all of his tears in a bottle.
A thousand years later, it had become a common practice for Jewish women to have a small glass tear jar (Lachrymatory) to collect tears in observance of Psalm 56:8. The tear jar symbolized the value of tears and that suffering does not go unnoticed by our God.
In the New Testament (Luke 7:38), we see an unknown, unnamed woman coming to Jesus to anoint His feet with her tears. Perhaps she had brought her tear jar for this.
Regardless, these Scripture passages illustrate how God values our sorrows and they are worth recognizing. No one else may know about our troubles, but God sees our pain. He tells us that just like this unknown woman and King David, He can handle our raw emotions and all our grief.
Casting all our tears and cares on Him, He cares for us. Jesus can lift us up and restore what has been broken by this world of pain and sin. He promises to send us on our way in peace. Take heart my friend. Keep looking up!
1 Show me Your loving-kindness, O God, for man has walked on me. All day long the one who tries to keep me down fights with me.
2 All day long those who hate me have walked on me. For there are many who fight against me with pride.
3 When I am afraid, I will trust in You.
4 I praise the Word of God. I have put my trust in God. I will not be afraid. What can only a man do to me?
5 All day long they change my words to say what I did not say. They are always thinking of ways to hurt me.
6 They go after me as in a fight. They hide themselves. They watch my steps, as they have waited to take my life.
7 Because they are bad, do not let them get away. Bring down the people in Your anger, O God.
8 You have seen how many places I have gone. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?
9 Then those who hate me will turn back when I call. I know that God is for me.
10 I praise the Word of God. I praise the Word of the Lord.
11 In God I have put my trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
12 I am under an agreement with You, O God. I will give You gifts of thanks.
13 For You have set my soul free from death. You have kept my feet from falling, so I may walk with God in the light of life.