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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Tears of Joy and Sorrow

I have noticed that crying is a universal expression of both joy and sorrow. This became more evident as I devoted time to intercultural studies at Regent University’s School of Divinity and in my daily life as I lived and worshipped in a multicultural neighborhood and also worked with people from different backgrounds at CBN. No matter our language barriers, cultural differences, or geographic boundaries, tears of joy and of sorrow can be understood across the diverse communities.

There was a season of my life where tears of sorrow flowed often. After the deaths of several family members, friends, and coworkers in ministry, I was heartbroken and sorrowful. I knew that I needed to grieve properly so that I could be well emotionally, mentally, and spiritually in the long term, so I set aside time in the mornings and evenings to process my grief. Some days this meant journaling my thoughts, other days I would let tears flow as they came, while some days I would simply sit and pray.

Although he was in a different time period, the psalmist expressed a similar plight as he lamented,

LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out before you day and night. May my prayer reach your presence; listen to my cry (Psalm 88:1-2 CSB).

The psalmist acknowledged God being his salvation before he cried out to Him during the day and at night. Maybe you find yourself in a season of crying out to God due to your life circumstances or due to the condition of the world. God hears your cries, even if you feel worn out from crying. The psalmist stated in Psalm 88:9,

My eyes are worn out from crying. Lord, I cry out to you all day long; I spread out my hands to you.

Even though he was worn out, he found strength to stretch his hands to God. May we do the same even in moments of fatigue and weakness.

Start Your Day with God

One of the things that helped me through my time of grief and sorrow was starting my mornings with God through prayer, worship, journaling, Bible reading, or simply crying out to God and listening for a response. This was my intentionally scheduled meeting time with God.

The psalmist shared in Psalm 88:13,

But I call to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer meets you.

He called on God in the morning to meet his need for help in a time when he endured great difficulty. Even when you face distress in your own life, you can call on God, just as the psalmist did. Try starting your day with God through prayer, worship, journaling, crying out to the Lord, or any other way that you feel comfortable with in that moment.

PRAYER
Let us pray: Father God, please be with me in my distress. May my tears and cries in the day and the night reach You and in return, may You grant me peace as only You can give. I trust You, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

~

Scripture is quoted from The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved. 

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