Tears In a Bottle

Psalm 56:8  Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

Crying and sorrow are most often lonely sports.  Even when we mourn with others, we often feel an absence of God’s abiding presence.  If God were here, He would have stopped this event that is causing so much grief and pain.  God loves me, therefore if He knew what I am going through, He would bring my loved one back to me.  Psalm 56:8 begins with David writing, “Thou tellest my wanderings”.  Wanderings in this verse is to flee or flight as in wanderings of one in exile.  David was feeling alone and sorrowful.  He was feeling as we do so often when we experience a deep, painful wound to the soul that pierces our very being.  David, in his sorrow remembers something that should encourage and comfort us as we go through the sting of grief and sorrow.  What was it that David remembered?  He remembered that he wasn’t alone. It seemed he was, but he acknowledges in this verse that,

Thou tellest my wanderings.

God knows where you are dear child of God, full of sorrow.  And know this also, God knows your wanderings.  God tellest of your wanderings.  He knows where the road of life will find you before you wander there.  He tellest of your wanderings.  So grieve, yes of course.  Be sorrowful, yes the pain is real and deep.  But take comfort in your grieving and your sorrow that God knows where you are and even if you don’t know where you are going at this moment, God does know where you are going.  He “tellest my wanderings”, my footsteps are ordered by Him who is still on the throne in heaven and He is still on the throne of my heart.

What else did David remember?  He remembered something that not many of the Old Testament people realized.  David was called a man after God’s own heart. David had a realization of the love of God and the grace of God that was very uncommon under the old law.  David had taken the time to know God.  God is no respecter of persons, but He does have His intimates.  David was one of these intimates.  David was a worshipper of God.  David was a man whose heart was bent on pleasing God.  In the 51st Psalm, which was written by David after his sin with Bathsheba was found out, David pleads for God’s grace and mercy without using these terms.  What did David remember? Very simply David remembered that God cares. How do I know that this was on David’s mind?  Listen to the request made by David,

Put thou my tears into thy bottle.

God saw David’s tears and He sees your tears.  David knows that God will remember his tears.  David knew that God is touched with the feelings of our infirmities.  How much more God can relate to us and our condition since Jesus has come.  We are told in Hebrews 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”. This verse is written in the negative form, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities”.  We can however spin this into the positive and it is still just as true, For we have an high priest who is touched by the feeling of our infirmities. Isaiah 53 paints a glorious and triumphant picture of Jesus on the cross and in verse 3 tells us, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”.  How could God understand my grief?  When I was yet a sinner, Christ died for the ungodly.  By the way who are the ungodly?  Me.  Who are the ungodly? You.  We could not ascend to heaven to make things right with God so God sent His only begotten Son. Only begotten means the only one like Him.  This is important because God has many sons, but only one particularly God.  Jesus is God and the second person of the triune God-head.  He came to earth born of a virgin.  He came to earth as very God of very God and very man of very man.  In other words He came to earth fully God and fully man.  He was 100% God and 100% man.  From eternity to eternity He is God, the great I Am.  He came here for one purpose and that was to go to an old rugged cross in my place.  Being fully man and fully God, Jesus experienced grief and sorrow.  At the garden He fought against the flesh and sweat great drops of blood.  His flesh didn’t want to die.  He cried to the Father, “Let this cup pass from me”.  Thank God He finished the sentence with, “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt”.  What grief our precious Savior suffered on our behalf in the garden that He sweated drops of blood.  We can’t imagine that level of grief.  How embarrassed I am that I have ever asked, “God where are you? You must not understand the brevity of the grief that I am enduring”.  His answer might be similar to the one he gave to Job in chapter 38 and verse 4, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding”.  God might answer my charge of His not understanding my level of grief by saying, “Where were you when I was sweating drops of blood for you in the garden?  Where were you when I was being spit upon?  Where were you when I was wearing a crown of thorns for you?  Where were you when I was beaten and cursed and nailed to a cross?  Declare if you have understanding.”  How great is His love for us that it drove Him to unparalleled grief and agony.  How can I question or charge Him with not understanding my grief?  Some think it to be a terrible and almost unforgivable sin to question God at times of despair.  I don’t believe that because there isn’t scripture for it.  My point is how wonderful and what a comfort to know that He does understand my grief.  How even more of a comfort it is to know that He is touched with the feelings of my infirmities; He actually feels my grief and my loneliness (wanderings).  Remember His closest friends and disciples deserted Him in His hour of grief, agony, and death.  While He was paying the price for their sins, they were running for the tall grass.

As 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says,

Sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

It is not my point to add guilt to your grieving process.  It is my point to encourage you to look to God as one who knows your grief and doesn’t just know of it.  He knows or feels the anguish of your heart.  He will keep or remember your tears because they are that important to Him.  Run to your strong tower who is the Lord and you will find refuge there.  Take comfort that He understands the feeling of loneliness in grieving and He felt that way when He came to pay the penalty of my sin and yours.  If you turn to God in your sorrow, He will comfort you with His Holy Spirit who is the blessed comforter.

When grieving please remember that you are not alone.  There are many who have crossed over the spike filled bridge that you now cross and there is a Savior who is touched with the feeling of your weakness and grief.  He longs to comfort you just as He longs to save you.

Dedicated to Joshua Luke Griffith

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