“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book (Psalm 56:8 NLT).”
As I was praying about what to share of my story God brought this verse to my mind. I am so overwhelmed at the depth of God’s goodness and love toward me. He is so tenderhearted toward the hurting. He saw me in the depth of my despair and brokenness. He never gave up on me when I gave up on myself. Amidst my deepest darkest depression, He was there. He intimately knew my hurt. He understood the depth of my pain. Not one tear fell, that He did not catch. Not one tear fell that He did not keep a record of. I imagine I filled enough “bottles” of tears during that season to far outnumber any I had previously filled. I sobbed. I am reminded of Matthew 10:30 where Jesus states:
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered (NASB).”
God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows every intimate detail of our very being. What a comfort to know that God was so intimately acquainted with the depth of my pain, that he not only kept of record of how many tears I cried, but he collected them.
How painful it must be for an all loving God to watch the brokenness in the world. To see the depth of the pain people endure. Whilst knowing it was never meant to be this way. If not for the fall there would be no tears. Whilst knowing someday He will make it right. One day:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away (Revelation 21:4 NASB).”
Oh how I long for that day! When all the pain of this lifetime is but a distant memory! How I long to gaze upon the face of Jesus and behold His loving tenderness and compassion. To thank Him for loving me unconditionally. For not giving up on me when I gave up myself. For being there even amidst my darkest moments. Will He show me the bottles of tears? Will He remind me that I was never alone? That He was there. After all, you can’t collect tears unless you are there to catch them.
When I initially began to recall my account of being raped, after months of completely repressing it, I remembered it from afar. I remembered it as if I were watching events unfold, but I was not a participant in those events. I was merely a bystander viewing those events from the furthest uppermost corner of the room where the events transpired. As I watched floating weightlessly from afar, I remember envisioning that in that moment Jesus was holding me there, whispering in my ear – “You don’t have to go there; we can just watch safely from over here. Over there, that is too much for you right now.”
Obviously, this is just figurative, but I believe Jesus walked through those painful memories with me and whispered – “You are not alone; we can face this together.” I also consider it a blessing and a mercy gift that God allows our psyche to disassociate from painful memories. God allows us coping mechanisms so we can slowly deal with painful memories and not be overwhelmed all at once. I couldn’t handle those memories in their entirety yet. Eventually I would get there, but it took time. In those moments, Jesus was my constant companion, my hiding place, my sustainer, my deliverer:
“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7 NASB).”
Jesus was not only my hiding place, he was my comforter. Jesus declared Himself to be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy that:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted for many generations (Isaiah 61:1-4 NLT).
Jesus was sent to comfort the brokenhearted, not just to catch their tears. He was sent to release those who have been oppressed and imprisoned including those in a figurative prison. Imprisoned emotionally because of past offenses or hurts. He was sent for freedom. To declare to those who mourn that their mourning is over, because God is going to show them His favor. He is going to show up amidst their pain. He is going to avenge them. He is going to bless them. He is going to rebuild all the ruins in their life, all the devastation. God is in the business of restoring hope and doing so exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever hope or imagine.
He is going to take back what has been stolen. If it was dignity, He will make you dignified again. If it was worthlessness, He will make you feel worthy, treasured. If it was feeling unlovable, He will make you feel loved. If it was a feeling of being dirty, He will cleanse you. If it was mourning and despair, He will give you joy and hope. Jesus was sent to right every wrong, to declare that all the lies we allow ourselves to believe are untrue! To reveal to us His truths and show us how He views us, as precious dearly loved children. God’s delight:
“the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love (Psalm 147:11 NIV).”