Psalm 56:8- ” You have kept count of my tossings, you put my tears in a bottle, are they not in Your book.”
The psalmist as he wrote these words was very familiar with sorrow and with suffering. He had hurt, he had cried, he knew what it was like to be in such anguish at night that he tossed and turned and couldn’t sleep. He was no stranger to trouble and that makes him a normal human being.
For the reality is we all suffer don’t we. We all go through times of hardship and difficulty. And I’m not talking about minor inconveniences and the grocery store not having your favorite product. I’m talking about real life difficulties. Relational problems, financial issues, abuse, neglect, depression, incurable sickness, ……..
I actually heard a sports star talking today on Sportscenter about one of his teammates, “he’s one of the strongest people I know,” he said. ” People criticize him all the time and he doesn’t let it affect him.” And all I could think of was really? Your teammate has been ctiticize for his basketball and he’s one of the strongest people you know. Being criticized for playing a game (or in this guys case not playing) is a minor inconvenience. That’s not real as suffering. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad this person can handle criticism, but is he really suffering?
Real suffering is what many people have to deal with on a daily basis. Life is hard. Decisions are difficult, circumstances come crashing in and the tears flow.
That’s the bad news. And Jesus told us the bad news, “in this world you will have trouble. …” And we do. Suffering and pain are real. All you have to do is look at the news over the past few weeks, the bombing at the Boston marathon, the explosion in Texas, an earthquake that killed 100s, and just today the story of 3 ladies who were kidnapped and held hostage for around 10 years. Suffering and pain are part of this world thanks to the sin of our ancestors in the garden of Eden. That’s why in this world we do have trouble. That’s why there is tossing and turning and weeping and tears.
And yet Jesus goes on to say, “but take heart I have overcome the world. ” For those of us who are followers of Jesus we are Promised victory. We will overcome. He knows right now every tear we have cried. He knows our pain better than we do. But ultimately we will be victorious. There is coming a day when Jesus who knows all our tears will wipe “every tear away from our eyes. ” And to quote the hymn, “What a day, a glorious day that will be.”