There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot ... a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep .... Ecclesiastes 3:1-4a (NIV, emphasis mine)
I remember a time in my life when I had to deal with some crushing news. Inside, my heart was screaming in pain, but for some absurd reason, I thought I should act “all together” on the outside to be a “good witness” for Christ. I smiled. I assured people I was fine, and that God was in control, and I trusted Him. I gave some stirring speech about His Goodness. I believed what I was saying—but inside I was dying. And that’s because I wasn’t crying. You know what? It's okay to cry.
Every time I read the story of Joseph, I admire this brave young man who continued to do what was right even when everything continued to go very wrong. Guess what else Joseph got right? Crying. Weeping. Yes, he did. Read with me what happened when Joseph saw his younger brother again, alive, after years of separation. “Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there” (Genesis 43:30). Later, when Joseph sees his beloved father, he weeps again. “Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time” (Genesis 46:29).
These passages comfort me. Joseph reassured his brothers that those actions they had meant for harm (selling him into slavery), God had meant for good.* Still … this same Joseph … wept. At the reunion with his family, he wept for a very long time. I suspect he was weeping for the long lost years he would never have with his dad and his brother. He wept for joy at a longing finally fulfilled. Even though God had worked a miracle for great good in Joseph’s life ... still … it was hard. When I face a difficult season or devastating circumstances, even though I know my God is Sovereign and has a plan in the midst of the pain, it’s okay for me to cry about that pain part. In fact, it’s healthy.
Dear one, when you face a season of sadness or trauma, remember that there is “a time to cry.” Let those tears out in sweet release or in emotional torrent, as the case may be. Pretending happiness is not the answer. Tears not shed fester in a body. When we cry, we are being truthful. Sometimes life hurts. When it does, it’s a time to cry, and tears are our Creator’s gift to help release the pain inside. King David wrote, “You [God] keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8, NLT). Take comfort that God knows when you cry. He cares enough to keep a record. Someday, “He will wipe every tear from [your] eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4a, NLT). Until then, it’s okay—and even good—to cry.
Heavenly Father, how I thank You for these sweet promises that one day You will wipe our tears away, and that You even record it when we cry. Oh, Lord, You notice. You care. Help me to be honest with what I feel, taking time to weep when needed, remembering that I don’t have to always appear to be strong. Thank You that I can simply come as Your little child and cry when I need to, and You, the God of all comfort,** will be there for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Genesis 50:20, **2 Corinthians 1:3
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)