You have kept count of my tossings;[a]
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
I watched my child sleep peacefully for the first time in more than 24 hours. Like most teenagers he REALLY enjoys a good nap; arms and legs everywhere, head flung back, mouth gaping open, snoring like a chainsaw. However, this was no simple nap. The previous night and day had been long, restless, difficult, and downright scary—ending with him in a hospital room for observation over the next 48 hours. His condition was excellent and completely managed as his Dad and I slumped over in chairs just staring at him. Exhaustion and confusion washed over me and spilled out in one big ugly cry that I'd been holding inside until this moment.
"Why does my boy have to struggle with this? He doesn't deserve it. I pray daily for the last seizure to be the last seizure ever. Why won't you heal him? I'm tired of crying. I'm tired of him crying. Do you hear me??"
Of course He does. God doesn't just hear us. God doesn't just see our cries. He doesn't simply record our tears with tally marks as they fall. He is not some far away scorekeeper marking our tears on a scoreboard in the heavens. Each tear, heartache, and sorrow is an event. It is a happening, a story, and a thread in a larger story that ends in complete and utter redemption. Rest assured that the God who numbered the drops of water in the ocean also has a complete inventory of the drops of water that haven fallen from the depths of your soul.
That's all great news, right? But what does that mean to me when my tears are staining the pillow at night—every night? Lean in and I'll give you good news: There's an end. Wherever you are in your faith, belief, or even disbelief please, please hear this: This heartache isn't going to last forever. It will lessen. And though it will change you, it will not define you. I don't look back behind me very often. My past is pretty disheartening- and so if God has been collecting this girl's tears, He must have a humongous bottle because I'm a mess. A MESS.
I love the thought of the tenderness of my Abba Father cradling those delicate tears with care and transferring them to a bottle with my name on it. This God who carefully stores my teardrops orders the universe, yet busies Himself listening to and recording my story. And the best part is knowing that those drops of pain are not going to be wasted. At the right moment, my Redeemer will open the bottle and exchange every drop for joy, victory, and life... in my life or someone else's.
This pain isn't forever. Those tears are not in vain. So let them flow! And know that your Jehovah-Rapha stands ready to redeem, heal, and give you victory for each and everyone!
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.