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We are not alone

November 9, 2015 No Comment
President Thomas Prachar

President Thomas Prachar

by Thomas Prachar

It happens the moment we arrive in this world—we begin crying. And at the moment we leave this world, we may shed tears of pain or anguish, or our friends and relatives may cry as they mourn our death.

Our Lord invites us in the face of illness and chronic pain to trust that He will be with us. Instead, we blame Him with bitter tears for the lot He has handed us in life. Our Saviour invites us to stand at the foot of the grave of a loved one with the confidence that He has won the victory over death and the grave. But we don’t take Him up on His promise as the separation from our loved one hurts so much. Self-pity sets in as we begin to think we are now all alone. It is then that the waterworks flow in earnest. Sometimes we lay awake at night thinking about something we should or should not have said, something we did or did not do to someone else. Tears of remorse and bitterness come as we wish we could go back and undo the hurt we have caused. Sometimes our conscience is so troubled that we wonder, through our many tears, if this world would be better off without us in it.

Those are temptations we must never give in to: thinking that we are all alone, or that no one cares for us. Our God reminds us in Psalm 56:8 (ESV), “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.”

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.

As archaeologists continue to excavate ancient tombs, they often unearth a narrow-necked bottle called a “lachrymatory.” It is thought that the tears of the deceased person’s friends were collected in such a bottle and then placed in the grave with him or her. And so David asks God to collect his tears one by one and store them in a bottle like a fine wine, since those tears are precious to God. David knew that his loving God cared deeply about the things that were troubling him, and that God would do something about them. In fact, a few verses later in this psalm, David confesses: “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11, ESV).

Each of us has pains and hurts. Sometimes we feel lonely; at other times we are distressed. Some of us may be facing personal battles with family members, or we may be waiting the results of a biopsy, or anticipating surgery, or struggling with some other illness or pain. Some of us may be facing the anniversary of the death of a loved one, and we aren’t sure how we are going to cope.

Each of us has pains and hurts. Sometimes we feel lonely; at other times we are distressed. Some of us may be facing personal battles with family members, or we may be waiting the results of a biopsy, or anticipating surgery, or struggling with some other illness or pain. Some of us may be facing the anniversary of the death of a loved one, and we aren’t sure how we are going to cope.

As we face these and many more situations of life that cause tears to flow, I can assure you that we do not face those things alone. Jesus is with us; He hurts with us; He walks with us. Jesus hurts to see us in pain, and so He cries real tears with us. He promises to bring us through the time of pain and darkness and tears into the light of His eternal joy. We look forward to that day in heaven when we will hear these comforting words: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4, ESV).

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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Rev. Thomas Prachar is President of the Central District of Lutheran Church–Canada.