I don’t believe there were tears in the Garden of Eden … and I don’t believe there will be tears in the new heaven and the new earth. But for now, because we live in a fallen and very imperfect world, we do have tears – and sometimes plenty of them.
Situations and people hurt us. Our hearts get broken by unreturned love, we feel the pain of losing a loved one to death, a friend proves to be unfaithful, we get weary and our mortal bodies hurt. Sometimes it just feels good to let go and have a good cry! Scottish preacher and writer George MacDonald said that “Tears are the only cure for weeping”. Tears are cleansing; tears are a release that can pave the way to peace and healing. Tears can move someone else to reach out to us in love.
I remember when my children were little tykes. All too often they would fall down and scrape a knee, bop heads with a playmate and grow a goose egg, get stung by a bee, or burn a finger in the cigarette lighter in our car (yes, that actually happened once!). Running to Mom or Dad for a hug and comfort would be a first response. Tears streaming, sobbing and shuddering like only a little kid can, they would find comfort in our loving arms and soothing voice. Holding tightly while wiping away the flood of tears would gradually bring calm; soon everything would be alright again and off they would go to find another adventure.
As an adult I take comfort in the fact that I have a safe place to run when I get hurt or frustrated or angry and the tears can’t be held back any longer. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 assures me that I have a heavenly Father … a “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation.” In this life I am not alone – I have Someone who loves me tenderly and truly, and I have His people who also care for me.
What gives me the greatest comfort however, is my future hope in a new heaven and a new earth that will be established when Jesus returns. My Bible tells me (Revelation 12:4) that a day will come when there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying. God himself (imagine!!) will wipe every tear from our eyes — and that will be the end of it! No more tears!
For now though, I watch my own children and others whom I love; I observe my son and his wife raising and training our 2 little grand-daughters. I see how we as mothers and fathers are fashioned after our heavenly Father, who loves us and cares for us so deeply and completely. For the present we continue to wipe away the tears that come with this life, and we endeavor to bring comfort where we can. But one day all this will be changed because there will be no tears. How I long for that day …