To the stoics, I have some bad news for you…
…there apparently are tears in heaven.
Any who have played sports competitively can identify with tears that are shed by both the winners and the losers in any contest. We especially feel for those who know that this is their last competition and all of the hard work of many years is wrapped up in this final result.
I recall as a young athlete pouring everything I had into an end of season competition and coming up empty. Although, I am generally stoic by nature, I could not resist the raw emotion of tears and sadness.
Tears accompany the frustrations and losses of life. They also come along with the release of pressure and the end of an intense experience.
Tears also are part of the anticipation of what lies ahead such as when a bride anticipates her wedding day and has come to the end of all of her effort and energy put into preparing for it. Will it all be worth it?, she wonders.
In some measure these two experiences give a little insight into why there are tears in heaven.
There are the tears of those who have come out of the great tribulation
“And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
“,,,for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
[Revelation 7:14,17 NASB]
Then there are those who belong to the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven. We learn that this New Jerusalem is later called the Holy Jerusalem and she comes both ‘As a bride prepared for her wedding’ and also as ‘The bride, The Lamb’s wife’. It appears that part of her preparation was to have every tear wiped away.
“…and 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]
We have often heard it said that there will be no tears in heaven and yet isn’t it curious that we are twice told that the Lord Himself will personally wipe away the tears from His saints.
If there are no tears in heaven how can any be wiped away?
I am suggesting that the tears that invite the gentle touch of the Lord’s nail pierced hand on our cheeks bear testimony to the sorrows that He carried us through. These tears also express the joy of being released from the destructive power of sin in us, the oppressiveness of sin around us and the finally realized blessed hope of being in the physical presence of the Lord.
They also remind us that the time for crying is over because of what is prepared for us.
At the end of all of our earthly conflict and sorrow; at the end of all of our preparation and anticipation of becoming one with our God, there is fullness of joy. Among other joys is the joy of working as one with our God to explore and develop a vast new creation of truly limitless possibilities for the display of our God’s glory.
And yes…it will all be worth it, Amen?
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