Recently, I was drawn to a reading in Psalm 56:8, which says this:  “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

When I shared this Scripture with my husband, he told me this verse depicts a literal thing.  In Old Testament times, women kept tear bottles. When their loved ones went off to war or were away from home for long periods of time, the women would catch their sad tears in a bottle. When their mates came home again, they would hold up the bottle and let them see how much they were missed. They showed them how many tears had been shed over them. What a tender idea!

Let’s extend that image to God. Imagine for a moment that He has captured every tear you’ve ever shed, recorded each event, and will one day share those stories with you. It may be the first time you truly recognize that He has always been with you. Though we aren’t likely to keep tear bottles today, the psalmist reminds us that even God watches over us, never missing a thing that grieves our hearts. He records them on a page that will never fade.


God Is On Your Side

The Psalm goes on to say, “This I know, God is on my side.”  I must confess that at times I struggle to embrace the thought that God is always on my side. I have to remind myself that whatever I’m going through, or whether I’m paying attention to God or not…He keeps on caring. He notes the circumstances of my life. He does not leave me alone in sorrow or frustration or even fits of worry. He sticks by me.  I’m just paper, but He’s the glue.

As humans, we weep for each other, just as Jesus wept when His friend Lazarus passed away.  We weep, and then we help each other find our way again. We wrap each other in comfort, radiant light, and smiles of joy.  We enjoy that we were designed for relationship, made to catch tears in a bottle. That’s what love does.  That’s what God does!

Heartache, heartbreak, and hard times disrupt life. They force us to slow down and take a deep breath.

But remember this, dear Ones. Embrace your friends when tears sneak down your cheeks. Allow them to comfort you when things turn upside down.  For you are not meant to grieve alone. The psalmist finishes the text by saying, “You have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.”

May that beautiful light shine on you and the people you love and help you dry your tears.