Tears are a vital part of the human experience. There are several types. The first type is basal tears which continuously lubricate the eye. The second type is reflex tears. These well up to flush out irritants, such as dust, and clear away foreign objects. We don’t give much thought to basal or reflex tears. They take no thought or effort. The third type is emotional tears. These are the tears that we don’t like to think about although that is exactly how they are triggered. These are the tears that flow like rivers during romance movies. These are the type that pour from innocent faces while mom hauls out the band-aid assortment or the kind that fall years later while mom listens sympathetically about a broken heart. These are the type that may fall, unobserved of course, when the new truck receives its first scratch. These are the type of tears that males will rarely admit. Or perhaps, the type of tears the rare male will admit.

Job and David were rare males indeed, as was Jeremiah. Job lost all his earthly relationships; his belongings and his health is short order. His friends were of no comfort. He freely shared his grief. “My face is flushed from weeping, And on my eyelids is the shadow of death;” (Job 16:16 NKJV) “My friends scorn me; My eyes pour out tears to God.” (Job 16:20 NKJV) David frequently admitted the same. “I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies.” (Psalms 6:6-7 NKJV) David believed that God saw and remembered his tears. “You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me.” (Psalms 56:8-9 NKJV) He credits God for comfort. “Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling.” (Psalms 116:7-8 NKJV)                 

Godly women also wept freely. Esther for example, in pleading for the lives of her people “Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews.” (Esther 8:3 NKJV) Jesus acknowledged the penitence of a woman who used her tears to wash His feet. “And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.” (Luke 7:37-38 NKJV) He forgave her sins and commended her love.

Paul speaks of tears and trials (Acts 20:19), of tearful warnings in Ephesus (Acts 20:31) and of anguish when writing to the Corinthian brethren. “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.” (2 Corinthians 2:4 NKJV) Paul prayed diligently for Timothy, remembering their tearful parting, “greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,” (2 Timothy 1:4 NKJV) All these examples pale in comparison to the tears of our Savior. Jesus suffered and died knowing that God could spare Him, yet willed for Him to die. “As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek”; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,” (Hebrews 5:6-9 NKJV)

KEN FLEEMAN (7/3/2022)

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