Monday, December 6, 2010

Tears in a Bottle

I've latched onto this verse in Psalms I found the other day.  I love it.  My favorite Bible version is the New Living Translation.  It's not as wordy as the Message, but still puts the words in clear and personal terms.  I think we have a pretty personal God, so it resonates with my heart.

Anyway, I found this verse the other day and felt it was one that would speak to so many people. 

You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book.  On the very day I call to you for help, my enemies will retreat.  This I know: God is on my side.  O God, I praise your word.  Yes, Lord, I praise your word.  I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?  Psalm 56:8-10

I just love it.

As Americans we are so good at presenting our false selves.  We want you to like the person we present.  The pretty picture.  The one who has it all together.  The one who says kind things, is funny, successful, a good parent, and feels no pain.  


It's exhausting being a person you're not.  I probably am too honest for people sometimes (not that I am innocent of false self, by any means).  But, I hate feeling fake.  If you ask me how I'm doing, I can't lie.  If it's been an exhausting day, or I'm feeling rather emotional about my parental successes/failures, I can't pretend it's all OK.  

I have made these incredible friendships in the last couple of years.  People whom I can trust to tell anything and they still just love me.  Sometimes they help steer me, and other times they just listen.  Sometimes they show up with band-aids and chocolate, so you don't have to run out to the store with your four kids.  Seriously.  Good friends.  I love that there are people out there who are so authentic that they love me no matter which self I present.

And when I read this scripture, it assures me that I don't have to present a false self...a pretty picture to God either.  We forget that he knows exactly what we think and feel anyway, so what's the point in trying to fake it with Him?  These verses opened my eyes to how deeply he cares.  He loves our joy and even says that when we choose Joy it is our strength, but he also clearly cares deeply for our sorrows.  So much so that every tear is collected in a bottle.  Every sorrow he records in his book.  And then he gently reminds that if we trust in Him we have nothing to fear.  

I read this to Sophia this morning.  It was very sweet.  She had the sweetest smile as I told her that God is right there caring for her when she's sad.  I said, can you believe He writes down something every time you are sad?  She smiled sweetly.  I said,  I bet it goes something like this..."Ah, sweet Sophia.  I hope you know I'm right here when you're sad.  Always remember that I am on your side. I love you."


Gayla said...

It boggles my mind that Jesus actually does this for me. Really. I love it... but it's so hard to believe that he treasures my tears... just amazing...

Thanks for sharing this, Anj.

Kate said...

love this. i thank God for good friends and for not feeling the pressure to be or act like life is perfect. life for me ends up looking like cleaning poop and bananas off of stuff, feeling like i can't keep the house presentable, trying to be kind to and grateful for my husband, and trying not to compare myself with other mommas who very well may be doing a much more "excellent" job at it than myself. but at the end of the day, He knows our every need, our every fear, and our every disappointment. thanks for writing! oh, and NLT is our favorite too :)